In the continuing saga of the battle for Torbreck, Dave Powell provides his perspective and how things have eventuated with Torbreck.
Not from Roennfeldt road, as you may have heard by now. It’s a pretty sad story and one I want you to hear directly from me. Rumours are already flying out there and I want to set the record straight. It’s a bit of an essay but bear with me, we have seven years of history to cover here. Here goes…
Seven years ago, on a Friday night in Atlanta, Georgia, I met US businessman Pete Kight and his wife Terry who had come to meet me as fans of Torbreck wines. Discovering that they were heading to Oz that coming Christmas with their two children, I invited them over for a BBQ if they made it to the Barossa.
Come December the Kights did indeed make it to the Valley and joined my then wife and I with my two boys for a great summers night. Over an old bottle of RunRig the conversation turned to business and I was telling Pete how I had to somehow raise the money to buy out my then fellow shareholder Jack Cowin.
Pete surprised me by offering to help, and although I needed a substantial amount of money, he said if it stacked up he would love to help me get my business back for my boys and me – I’d told him I’d always seen Torbreck as a legacy for my sons.
I could not believe my luck, I’d had no idea he was a billionaire. At the time I also remember thinking of the old saying that if it seems too good to be true it usually is, however I had my back to the wall so we proceeded with the deal.
That mistake cost me everything.
My lawyer advised me not to sign the deal that was presented to me, as there was a clause that would see me lose Torbreck if ever enforced. I told Pete my lawyer told me not to sign as it stood and needed to be amended. He responded by saying his lawyers were being over zealous and not to worry, we needed to get it done and could sort it out later. That he was only doing the deal to help me get Tobreck back for my family.