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Uvine directors bid for collapsed company

Two parties have emerged as favourites in the competition to take over collapsed wine fund Uvine – including the company’s three directors.

The Uvine directors – Frank Hohmann III, Paul Rogers and Jonathan Perratt –are bidding against an unnamed company, based outside the UK, to run Uvine under a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

Uvine was placed in administration on 26 September and advertised for sale in the Financial Times on 29 September.

There were 17 interested replies, but only one serious bid emerged, from a company that apparently has no previous experience in the wine trade.

According to administrator Graham Wolloff, it intends to run Uvine as a going concern.

‘They believe in the potential of the exchange,’ he said at a 4 December adminstrators’ meeting in Peterborough, UK.

Wolloff said he had received an improved offer from the company that morning. Repayments to creditors would depend upon future profitability.

Hohmann, Rogers and Perratt have made an offer through Trieste Direct Investments Ltd – a company which registered in the British Virgin Islands and in which Rogers and Perratt have an interest.

Although they took no part in the running of Uvine and are angry at losing money and reputation, as directors they are liable.

This bid would both help them to avoid litigation and compensate creditors in part.

‘I do not know what Trieste’s future intentions would be or, whether they have even decided whether they would run it or just close it,’ Wolloff told decanter.com.

The creditors have mandated the administrators to continue negotiations.

Following the administrators reporting misconduct in the running of Uvine the government has appointed William Shirley of law firm Howes Percival in Norwich as the investigative solicitor.

Written by Jim Budd

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