Elders out, Carattis in
The Caratti family is set to begin clearing worthless blue gums on one of WA's most iconic farms as the dust settles on a bitter fight over the future of Agricultural Land Trust.
A shareholders' meeting in Perth yesterday narrowly carried resolutions that cleared the way for entities associated with Allen Caratti to become the biggest stakeholder in ALT, which owns Linkletter's Place farm near Esperance.
The resolutions were carried after a last-minute backdown from Elders and Gucce, a company associated with Mr Caratti, on a deal to install Gucce as the responsible entity for ALT.
Elders, which owns the responsible entity Agricultural Land Management Ltd, has agreed to work with ALT shareholders on alternatives, including appointing an independent entity under the managed investment scheme structure.
The Gucce appointment had been strongly opposed by school teacher Anne Cathcart, who rallied shareholder opposition to the restructure of ALT.
Claims and counterclaims about the restructure saw the meeting postponed twice.
A source close to Mr Caratti said he looked forward to restoring Linkletter's Place to its former glory.
Under the complex ALT restructure, his entities are expected to commit $2 million in a rights issue. His entities will also enter into an agreement with ALT to remediate the 7800ha farm.
WA's biggest grain grower, John Nicoletti, was a spectator at yesterday's meeting.
The restructure frees Elders from its lease on Linkletter's Place, cancels its equity in ALT and sees it forgive debt of about $4.5 million.
Elders had been keen to cut its last ties with a disastrous venture into forestry.
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