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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jim Budd

Following a series of creditors' meetings last month, Duncan Beat of Tenon Recovery, London has been appointed as liquidator for Boington & Fredericks, City Vintners, Goldman Williams and Liquid Acquisitions. Most of the approximately 1,500 clients of City Vintners and Goldman Williams have their wine in London City Bond and should be able to take possession fairly soon. They can, however, claim the difference between the value and what they paid. Although the two companies have a combined surplus available of 924,255, the potential claims far exceed this. Liquid Acquisitions has an estimated deficiency of 155,724. However, as the company bought no wine after August 2001, there are potentially claims from their 90 investment clients in excess of 300,000 based on the turnover for September 2001. Andrew Dunne, the company secretary, was ordered by the High Court to pay the costs of opposing the DTI's petition to wind up, which are now estimated to be around 50,000. If Dunne has no assets, these will be due from Liquid Acquisitions. Harpers understands that Beat intends, subject to agreement from the creditors' committee, to pursue the directors, to recover company monies which have been wrongfully dissipated'. This may be difficult, as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) told the High Court that 2.2 million from City Vintners and Goldman Williams had been moved offshore. In early February the DTI closed down in the public interest two other wine investment companies: Vaz & Alexander and VCA Vintners. Vaz & Alexander was briefly part of the claret web, while VCA Vintners was run by Simon Drake, an ex-employee of Allwines Ltd.