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Published:  23 July, 2008

Winepros, the high-profile Australian Internet business backed by James Halliday and Len Evans, and launched in March 2000, has announced that it plans to take steps to realise the assetsof the company and return the proceeds and cash on deposit to the shareholders'. This would seem to bear out the view of Terry Davis, formerly of Beringer Blass, expressed in Harpers (27 July) that the Winepros model is just not right'. It is not certain that the business will cease trading, however. According to one inside source, there are three future possibilities. The business may be sold as a going concern (it is reported to have A$7 million in the bank), it may go into voluntary liquidation (a move that would have to be approved by the shareholders, including Evans and Halliday), or there may be some form of management buyout, with a drastically reduced workforce. As recently as early September, Winepros launched a site specifically tailored to the UK market ( with contributions from the likes of Robert Joseph, Anthony Rose, Kit Stevens MW, Charles Metcalfe and Clive Coates MW. At the time, it was billed as the first phase of an international roll-out of the Winepros' site network. The UK site will continue for the time being, according to one contributor.