Business briefs

IRON ORE

IRON ORE

Mount Gibson exit

Mount Gibson Iron's managing director, Luke Tonkin, has left the miner before his planned departure date after talks with other board members about his termination package collapsed. Last month the miner said Mr Tonkin had agreed to leave after a transition period of up to six months, during which time his successor would be appointed. However, the parties were unable to finalise transitional arrangements to the satisfaction of both sides. The chief operating officer, Jim Beyer, has been named acting chief executive. Mr Tonkin was appointed managing director in October 2005 and was previously head of the collapsed tantalum miner Sons of Gwalia.

BROADBAND

Telstra plan

Telstra has set out how it will offer equivalent services to other telcos, as it seeks regulatory approval for its broadband network deal with the government. The new structural separation undertakings (SSUs) include a clause which specifies that services to wholesale customers be equivalent to the comparable retail services Telstra provided. The ACCC rejected an earlier SSU because there was no compliance plan for the structural separation of Telstra's retail and wholesale arms from 2018.

SUGAR

Mill sale approved

A majority of creditors of the Proserpine Sugar Mill voted yesterday to approve Sucrogen's purchase of the mill for $120 million, in a vote conducted by administrators Korda Mentha. The offer by Sucrogen, the Australian sugar subsidiary of Singapore-listed Wilmar International, included absorption of the mill's normal operating costs and certain capital expenditure but it was lower than a $128 million counter-offer by Tully Sugar, that was not put to creditors. Sucrogen's chief executive, Ian Glasson, said the company was pleased to finally buy the mill but was disappointed the sale had not been possible before the mill was put into voluntary administration.

INVESTMENT

AMP in Japan link

Investment manager AMP Capital Investors will expand its presence in Japan through a partnership with a Japanese trust bank. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB) has acquired a 15 per cent stake in AMP Capital Investors for $425 million. The deal will also give Mitsubishi one seat on AMP Capital's board. The alliance will give AMP Capital Investors access to about 80 per cent of Japan's institutional investors and about 14 per cent of the country's retail investors. AMP Capital's products will be distributed to Japanese institutional investors through MUTB, and to retail investors through MUTB and MUTB's parent company, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.