$21m jackpot for growers as defunct company finally wound up

Finally, goodbye to GIC as growers get $21m

Wool
START OF THE PROBLEMS: Growers line up to vote out the board of the Australian Wool Realisation and Promotion Organisation at Goulburn in 1998 which led to the creation of the Graziers Investment Company.

START OF THE PROBLEMS: Growers line up to vote out the board of the Australian Wool Realisation and Promotion Organisation at Goulburn in 1998 which led to the creation of the Graziers Investment Company.

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The Graziers Investment Company has finally been wound up with woolgrower shareholders receiving $21m.

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A tortuous battle to wind up the defunct Graziers Investment Company (GIC) has finally ended with $21 million headed to its Australian woolgrower shareholders.

But about 5400 of the company's 36,617 shareholders won't be getting cheques in the mail because they failed to update their contact details on the company share registry.

The joint liquidator, Ahmed Bise, from Grant Thornton, said the value of the GIC shares was about $10.04 each.

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly on October 11, 2017, to wind up the company which had its origins in the sacking by growers of the Australian Wool Research and Promotion Organisation (AWRAP) board at a meeting in Goulburn in 1998.

GIC was established in 2000 under the name Australian Wool Services (AWS) and compromised two subsidiaries - The Woolmark Company and Australian Wool Innovation.

It inherited $57 million of capital from AWRAP and around $53m of liabilities from previous administrations stretching back to the 1930s.

The debt liability later ballooned to $100m due to overseas pension fund issues from the days of the International Wool Secretariat (IWS) which was created in 1937 by the Australian, South African and NZ Wool Boards.

AWI split from GIC in 2002 and bought Woolmark in 2007.

In 2007 GIC started operating as a small secretariat while continuing to resolve 36 inherited legacy problems stretching back to the start of the IWS.

These issues included the messy sale of a former IWS property in Mumbai, India, which had been purchased in 1972.

Major shareholders in GIC include Twynam Pastoral Co, John Swire and Sons, Lynoch, NM Rural Enterprises, Emanuel Exports, AJ and PA McBride and F S Falkiner and Sons, according to GIC's 2016 annual report.

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