29 June 2017
We are aware that US wine fund manager, Charles Banks, has been sentenced to four years imprisonment for fraud in the United States. Mr Banks is the majority shareholder of Terroir Capital LLC, which manages the Terroir Winery Fund.
The Terroir Winery Fund was granted consent to acquire Hawke’s Bay winery Trinity Hill in 2014.
A condition of consent required the ‘individuals with control’ of the Terroir Winery Fund (including Mr Banks) to remain of good character. In light of Mr Banks’ conviction and sentence, we consider that Mr Banks is not of good character.
We are in discussion with Terroir’s representatives about removing Mr Banks from having any interest in Terroir’s investment in New Zealand. Mr Banks has already resigned as director of Trinity Hill Limited.
Terroir Winery Fund reported this matter to the OIO and is cooperating with our enquiries.
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