An Australian winemaker who became an industry legend after turning a $3000 loan into a multi-million dollar empire in the 1980s has entered the world of cryptocurrency.
Andrew Garrett, whose name still adorns a hugely popular range of South Australian wines, is listed as the Managing Trustee and Director of OenoViva Capital Resources – a Hong Kong-based company which has just launched a token offering.
OenoViva claims its tokens, called ‘VIVA’, are “issued/drawn and secured against the credit value of the balance Sheet of OenoViva Capital Resources.”
Andrew Garrett first publicly revealed the project in a series of bizarre Facebook posts made over the past week.
“Live the revolution, Viva the Revolution,” he wrote in one post sharing a link to the OenoViva website.
There are plans to issue a total of 5,000,000,000 VIVA tokens, to raise US$5 billion, with the first round offering ending in December.
The tokens are said to be tradable on the Stellar Network.
OenoViva’s business activities are however somewhat curious, to say the least.
“The purpose of this Token Offering is to monetise the balance sheet and deploy raised capital via a Private Equity vehicle (OenoViva Capital Resources – ‘OVCR’) into investments in businesses focused on commerce, humanitarian, health & wellbeing and environmentally-friendly products and services,” the company’s website states.
“The OVCR team is headed by Chairman/Managing Trustee Andrew Garrett and supported by a team of experts in various fields, including Sales & Marketing, Human Resources, Corporate Finance, Property and Information Technology.
“OVCR’s underlying investment philosophy is to focus on planet-friendly and humanitarian enterprises.”
The ‘chequered’ past of Andrew Garrett
While the Andrew Garrett name is synonymous with the Australian wine industry, the man himself has a chequered past.
After becoming a multi-millionaire winemaker in the 1980s on the back of a $3000 loan, Garrett’s was declared bankrupt in 2004.
In October 2010, he was handed a good behaviour bond by a South Australian court after pleading guilty to dishonestly dealing with documents.
He is currently fighting a $6 million tax fraud case against the Australian Tax Office.