The news that COWPe shepherd, Hermann Böhmer, has quit comes as no great surprise. That it was broken by UK trade mag Just-Drinks is par for the course as the company is one of the top five exporters of bottled wine. What does shock is the admission by COWPe chairman Dave Price that “the company has effectively traded at a loss on average ever since it was created (in 2006). There have been significant impairments of operations in order to try to improve the trading results, but that’s never been effective. The shareholders have seen a significant deterioration in equity over that period. They were becoming more and more unhappy.” The understatement of the week.
Dave may wish to direct his executive replacement consultants to Franschhoek where Anthonij Rupert Wines cellarmaster Neil Patterson is leaving after 10 vintages and just over 9 years. If COWPe wish to graze in China where the grass is greener, then Neil is their man as after working for Johann Rupert, the most successful SA exporter to China by a country mile, something must surely have rubbed off. although with around 90% of Chinese adults lactose intolerance (ru tang mei que fa), a company name change may be called for.