Australian Whisky Holdings completes Nant acquisition
Australian Whisky Holdings (AWH) has completed the acquisition of the Nant Distillery assets, including the Nant intellectual property, from the receivers of NAW Distillery Pty Ltd.
In a statement to the ASX, AWH said this move was the completion of the deal struck with the receivers, as reported by TheShout last month, and that it means AWH now has “undisputed and outright ownership of the Distillery assets and the Nant Estate”.
AWH added: “This brings to an end any disruption to the production and marketing of the world class Nant whisky. AWH is now continuing with decanting and bottling of AWH-owned nant whisky and bottling at the renowned AWH-owned Nant Estate located at Bothwell, Tasmania.
“Settlement of the acquisition also brings a formal end to the Federal Court proceedings initiated by the receivers as between the receivers, AWH and certain of its related entities.”
The long-running takeover of the Nant Distillery by AWH has proven to be a bitter dispute with both sides claiming wrong-doing by the other. AWH has claimed that many of the barrels, which formed part of the Nant Barrel Investment Scheme, established by former owner Keith Batt, were either not filled at all, or had been filled with low-ABV spirit.
However Batt accused AWH of reneging on a Business Management Agreement between the two parties and also told TheShout that AWH should have been filling investment barrels since October last year.
In March this year FTI Consulting were appointed as a receiver by secured creditor Eclipx Commercial Pty Ltd, a company which Batt said was “an equipment financier” of Nant.
While the long-running dispute has been happening it has left many barrel investors unclear as to what has happened to their barrels and their investment. AWH has made offers to buy back mature barrels from investors and also to pay a deposit on maturing barrels, to be paid in full at the point of maturation.
AWH added: “AWH is pleased to be returning its focus to the production, marketing and selling of whisky products as distilled at the Nant Estate under the Nant brands, and to its continued management of the Nant barrel investment scheme and the acquisition of whisky from Nant barrel scheme investors.”
The company also said that the Nant Estate distillery in Bothwell is now open for tours, tastings and functions.