Investors in Timbercorp fruit plantations will share about $20 million after the Supreme Court of Victoria approved a settlement between investors and creditors. A further $30 million owing to forestry scheme investors has also been freed. Secured creditors including ANZ and Westpac will share the remaining money from the 2009 sale of fruit trees, water rights and land after the collapse of Timbercorp that year. These assets reaped nearly $350 million in 2009, and about $170 million has already been distributed to secured creditors.
Profit & loss
The top 10 insurers in Australia account for nearly 80 per cent of the sector's $2.8 billion in profit last year. At the same time, some 23 insurers operating in Australia, including offshore majors Zurich, General Re and online specialist Progressive Direct, delivered a loss last year. Insurance Australia Group's flagship general insurance arm was the most profitable operator, returning $419.8 million.
Linc Energy has been forced to explain a leap in its share price — up 28 per cent in the past two trading sessions — after news that the company was in talks with Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Responding to the ASX, Linc attributed the jump to information shared with shareholders at its AGM last month.
A subsidiary of engineering and construction firm Forge has been awarded a $105 million contract to develop a power station in Western Australia's Pilbara region. Forge managing director David Simpson said it was the second major project to be awarded to CTEC since it was acquired by Forge in January.
Former opposition leader John Hewson will join the board of oil and gas explorer Larus Energy as a non-executive director. Outdoor adventure retailer Kathmandu has appointed former Tesco executive Christine Cross to its board.