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Bankrupt Warren falls on hard times

'The only sin I've committed is to work bloody hard.' Warren Anderson

The colourful Perth developer Warren Anderson finally lost his battle with creditors last month and was declared bankrupt, according to documents lodged yesterday with the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia.

Not that anyone should be surprised. His ski lodge at Perisher Valley, the Marritz Alpine Chalet, was offloaded for $3.1 million in May this year.

Creditors are also trying to sell Fernhill, his historic homestead at Mulgoa, for a cool $50 million.

And last year Anderson conducted a mammoth sell-off of artworks and antiques from the Fernhill estate including a three-metre-tall stuffed polar bear and three rhinoceros heads.

Pity about the bear. Warren could probably do a with a consoling cuddle right now and it won't be coming from his wife, Cheryl.

Last year Anderson blamed his marriage breakdown and involvement with the "murky construction industry" for his financial predicament. If his involvement with the financial industry was considered "murky", CBD would love to hear what he thinks of his time as a director of a magic fuel pill company, Firepower.

"I don't know what I did to God to punish me like this," he said last year when his travails were well and truly in the public sphere.

"The only sin I've committed is to work bloody hard for 50 years and they murder you."

We can only assume Anderson has been working "bloody hard" on other things as he has yet to meet his bankruptcy trustee, Mark Conlan of RSM Bird Cameron, since being declared bankrupt three weeks ago.

"He's told me that he has no assets in his own name," says Conlan, who is still waiting for Anderson to lodge a statement of affairs and passport.

NO HIGH FLYER

A high Aussie dollar and threadbare corporate budgets mean it's not a particularly good time to be flogging a corporate jet.

Just ask the Commonwealth Bank.

The luckless financier of the Gulfstream IV jet owned by the controversial Indian entrepreneur Pankaj Oswal managed to offload Oswal's indulgence for $12.16 million, according to documents from the company which housed the asset, Garuda Aviation.

The price was a tad less than the $20 million valuation placed on the Gulfstream in Garuda's books and leaves the Commonwealth a little short on the $18.13 million it was owed when the bank appointed receivers to repossess the jet late last year.

LOOKING EAST

It's good to hear that Clive Palmer's splurge on the tourism sector - acquiring the Hyatt Regency Coolum last week for an estimated $40 million - does not represent a distraction from the main game: selling stuff to China.

The multi-billion-dollar float of the mining concept company Resourcehouse may have failed but the Sunshine Coast Daily reports that Clive will meet the Hyatt's management this week to synergise the glorified golfhole with his business specialty.

The paper reports that the resort's general manager, Maurice Holland, is already singing from Clive's song sheet. "There is a particular style of Chinese tourist that we should be attracting to the Sunshine Coast," Holland said.

"There's a very significant

upper middle class developing in China who speak English and who play golf."

Some unkind critics may suggest that any divot these Chinese visitors find on the Hyatt's golf course would represent a more significant dig than what the supposed miner, Resourcehouse, has so far managed.

BAD NEWS MOVE

Ever looked back on a decision with a little regret? The junk stock you avoided that subsequently went into orbit? A house move that proved a disaster?

CBD can't help but wonder if Rupert Murdoch is having misgivings about moving his corporate shop, News Corp, from the dusty backwater of South Australia to the diminutive US state of Delaware.

It appears News Corp faces trouble in the US over the British phone tangle as that is literally where the buck stops for the media giant. Americans can get very serious about things like the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act which makes it a crime for US companies to make corrupt payments to foreign officials.

But of course the Sun King's decision to move to "business-friendly" Delaware was not an idle one.

With Liberty Media's John Malone breathing down his neck all those years ago, critics complained the Delaware detour was merely to help foster poison pill provisions at News Corp to keep Malone at bay.

THE HARD SELL

Speaking of News Corp, it is worth noting that the Macquarie media analyst Alex Pollak put an "underperform" on the media stock this week on the basis of "high level regulatory uncertainty in the UK and the US" and slapped a $15.55 price target on shares which traded above $17 this time last week.

It wasn't that long ago that such a call would have drawn all sorts of ire from the Murdoch empire, according to a former media analyst, Mike Mangan. A few years ago the then Deutsche analyst accused News Corp of pressuring broking firms to publish positive reports using lucrative investment bank fees - and executive access - as carrots to keep everyone in line.

The idea was to leave the negative stuff to Rupert's papers, we guess.

Mangan said at the time that he had previously been "abused, insulted and sworn at" after downgrading his recommendation on News Corp from "buy" to "hold", and knew others who had similar experiences. News Corp denied Mangan's allegations that he was retrenched from Deutsche over a "sell" recommendation he put on the stock.

CBD guesses there won't be as much trouble with "sell" recommendations at the moment.

Scott Rochfort is on leave.

Got a tip? Use our online tips box or email srochfort@smh.com.au


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