After the collapse of a restructuring deal with bankers ANZ, struggling Australian producer Evans & Tate is being courted by two potential rescuers.

The restructuring deal announced in May with ANZ collapsed as ANZ were unable to find a co-investor.

On 18 June Evans & Tate announced an ‘in principle’ rescue plan from the Pendulum Investor Group, headed by Peter Fogarty of the Fogarty Wine Group.

Today Evans & Tate announced that it had received a merger proposal from Ferngrove Vineyards on Friday 22 June.

Under the Pendulum offer, Evans & Tate’s current debt of AUS$100m (£42m) owed to ANZ would be reduced to AUS$55m (£23m). Evans & Tate would issue 429m shares to ANZ in exchange for debt. ANZ would sell half of these shares to the Pendulum Investor Group for an undisclosed sum.

The Ferngrove proposal has Evans & Tate reducing the debt to AUS$42m (£18m). For the merger, Evans & Tate will acquire all Ferngrove’s shares and issue 413m shares to Ferngrove. ANZ would cease to be a shareholder after two years.

Written by Jim Budd