Finweek English Edition - - Cover -

THIS “TE­QUILA” MAKER – us­ing spir­its dis­tilled from gar­ing­bome in the Ka­roo – man­aged to catch out hap­less in­vestors twice. The first time it was in the guise of Reinet Dis­tillers, which went belly-up af­ter equip­ment prob­lems de­layed its pro­duc­tion pro­gramme. Reinet was bought off liq­ui­da­tion in the late Nineties by for­mer Di­men­sion Data ex­ec­u­tive Keith McLach­lan, who re­named the busi­ness Agave Dis­tillers. Share­hold­ers lost ev­ery­thing in the process.

A few years later McLach­lan turned to pub­lic in­vestors to pro­vide fund­ing for the strug­gling busi­ness, pur­port­edly to fi­nance pro­duc­tion that would en­able the group to cash in on an in­creased global de­mand for te­quila. Things didn’t go as planned and con­trol of Agave passed from McLach­lan to un­listed ven­ture cap­i­tal share ped­dler Cap­i­tal Com­mit­ments.

The new con­trol­ling share­hold­ers also bum­bled along and last year Agave was placed in liq­ui­da­tion. The last Fin­week heard was that McLach­lan had resur­faced and sub­mit­ted a suc­cess­ful bid to buy out Agave from liq­ui­da­tion – an ex­er­cise that again left share­hold­ers out to dry.

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