A good fit? Elliott eyes deputy mayoral robes
There could be nothing better than the return to public life of John Elliott, who has thrown his hat into the ring to become the deputy mayor of the City of Melbourne on the ticket headed by the pollster Gary Morgan.
Elliott told the ABC that "it is a business to run Melbourne, there's no doubt about that". "Your shareholders are the residents and the people who operate the businesses in the city," he said.
While some may raise an eyebrow at the prospect of the former corporate high-flyer taking a key role at a city council with revenue of more than $360 million a year, CBD thinks Elliott's achievements speak for themselves.
Here are just a few:
1989: The National Crime Authority (since disbanded) launches an investigation into Elliott's takeover of Elders, which he had turned into a debt-fuelled empire in a bid to bring Foster's to the world.
1990: Elders IXL delivers a loss of $1.3 billion. Elliott steps down as president of the Liberal Party.
1993: Charged with theft and conspiracy to defraud Elders.
1996: Acquitted after a judge threw out most of NCA's evidence.
2000: A company of which Elliott was a director, Water Wheel Holdings, collapses.
2001: Ordered by the Federal Court to pay $5 million of costs the NCA ran up during his epic legal stoush with the authority.
2002: Stands aside from presidency of Carlton Football Club after evidence emerges the club had been rorting the AFL salary cap.
2003: Banned from corporate life for four years over the collapse of Water Wheel Holdings. Carlton scrubs the John Elliott Stand signage from its Princes Park home, re-naming the stand the Heroes Stand.
2005: Declared bankrupt.
2007: Bankruptcy annulled.
Clearly a man who deserves to be deputy mayor of the only council in Australia to hold a AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's.
Pay on the rise
If bonuses for chief executives are out of fashion, someone forgot to inform Amcor's Ken MacKenzie.
His bonus for the year to June crawled up over the $2 million mark, according to Amcor's latest annual report, out yesterday.
It was just one of a number of lumps bulking up MacKenzie's pay packet, pushing his compensation from $6.43 million to $7.52 million.
That's a 15.7 per cent pay rise, but shareholders have done well under the MacKenzie regime.
Profit rose from $379.9 million to $436.8 million - or 14 per cent, eerily similar to the packaging boss's pay increase.
"Ken's ranked [as] one of the best executives in Australia at the present point in time," an Amcor spokesman, John Murray, said.
"And Amcor is one of the best-performing stocks."
CBD scoured the boxmaker's annual report for mention of Attorney-General Nicola Roxon's tobacco plain packaging laws, but came up with nothing.
While it doesn't shout it from the rooftops, Amcor is a big player in the cancer stick packaging business, producing fag packs that flip, fold, squeeze and slide.
That would seem to leave Amcor exposed when drab olive boxes become the standard in December.
However, Amcor shareholders can breathe easy (even if smokers can't). The company doesn't make any packs locally and reaps just $4 million of its $1.2 billion in tobacco packaging sales from Australia.
The rebels at Golden Gate Petroleum have triumphed ... sort of.
Angry shareholders had hoped to kill off a $10 million capital-raising that involved issuing convertible notes to clients of Novus Capital. The rebels, who set up a forward post on the bulletin board HotCopper, said the deal would give too much power to Novus clients.
Battlelines were drawn at a shareholder meeting in Sydney on Wednesday, with the rebel camp hoping enemy numbers would be whittled away because subscribers to the convertible notes were barred from voting on the proposal.
When proxies were unveiled, it became clear the issue would be defeated, 184 million to 172 million.
A compromise proposal from the company, cutting in half the number of notes to be issued, was tied on a show of hands.
But when the smoke cleared, it passed by 236 million to 182 million.
Has too much hot air been pumped into the social media bubble?
Yesterday's announcement from the Optus owner Singtel that it had paid $US26.5 million ($25.5 million) for an app that scrapes all the pictures your cyber-friends have put up in various places - such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Flickr - and collects them into a single feed would appear to be a positive indicator.
Singtel said the app, Pixable, allows users to keep up to date with crucial events such as "what I ate last night, which concert I went to, who was with me at a party".
It does this "using next generation predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to analyse users' interactions and consumption habits to prioritise photos from close friends and family", Singtel said.