Bermuda wine investment group in insolvency dispute
A wine-based investment group, based in Bermuda and England, has been accused of impropriety by an investor and appeared to be insolvent by at least £7.8 million, it has been reported.
But a spokesman for the group said that there was nothing untoward in the matter and the dispute will soon be resolved.
The article was published in OffshoreAlert, which said that the group is controlled by Rodney Birrell, a Canadian living in Bermuda, and Briton Andrew della Casa of London.
The group is said to include British fund manager Anpero Capital Limited and at least two Anpero-managed investment funds, The Wine Enterprise Investment Scheme Limited, in England, and The Wine Investment Fund Limited, in Bermuda.
The Registrar of Companies for England and Wales has filed a notice with Companies House that Anpero will be compulsorily struck off the register and dissolved by the end of January.
The article further states: “The Wine Enterprise Investment Scheme’s Bermuda sister fund, The Wine Investment Fund, also appears to be insolvent, with one Bermuda investor complaining to the Bermuda Monetary Authority in a letter dated October 5, 2022 that the fund had failed to satisfy ‘numerous requests’, starting on June 30, 2021, to redeem its investment balance of £164, 212.“
The article also said: “The fund was “in serious breach of various provisions” of Bermuda’s Investment Funds Act, including requirements “for a fund operator and service provider to be fit and proper” and “for preparation of audited financial statements”, the latter of which the investor has not received since investing in 2009, it was stated in the letter.“
According to OffshoreAlert, the BMA was asked to appoint someone to investigate the fund’s activities, order it to satisfy redemptions, and, if it failed to do so, impose penalties against the fund, its manager, and principals, including revoking the fund’s registration. Two months after the complaint, The Wine Investment Fund was still listed as an ‘Authorised Standard Fund’ on the BMA’s website.
The article states the Wine Investment Fund was incorporated in Bermuda in 2008 and, according to its register of directors and officers obtained by OffshoreAlert from its administrator, Krypton Fund Services, Birrell is currently its sole director.
The fund’s management shares and participating shares are all owned by Anpero Capital, according to its register of members.
“Despite The Wine Investment Fund’s apparent insolvency, it is currently claimed in the “Performance” section of its website at wineinvestmentfund.com that the Fund’s Net Asset Value increased by 139.37 per cent since inception in March 2004 to August 2022, and potential investors are invited to “Apply for your investment pack”.
“When contacted by OffshoreAlert, della Casa stated that The Wine Investment Fund had been making payments, including interest, on the amount owed to the investor, adding that ‘one final payment’ was still outstanding.”
“Since a formal complaint by the company to the BMA has been made, however, it would not be appropriate to comment further until the matter has been formally resolved,” he stated.
“Once resolved we will be more than happy to answer all your questions in full and, to this end, I shall write to you again at such time.
“In the meantime, I can confirm that no financial crime, serious or otherwise, is in progress.”
Anpero’s accounts “were not filed in time due to an internal control issue and are due to be filed shortly”, he claimed.
Regarding the liquidation of The Wine Enterprise Investment Scheme, he claimed that “the company is an Enterprise Investment Scheme in the UK and that it is standard practice for such companies to be put into liquidation once the company’s shares have been held for the qualifying period.
“This ensures that returns to investors are treated as capital gains (tax free under the scheme) and not as income (which would otherwise be taxed).”