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Blockage in the works at Swisse

Blockage in the works at Swisse

Controversial vitamins outfit Swisse Wellness employs a horde of celebs to spruik its range of pills and potions - everyone from its "global ambassador", actor Nicole Kidman, through perennial comeback kid "Little" Lleyton Hewitt to singer Marcia Hines.

It also reckons the fibre in its "natural weight loss aid", Ultiboost Trimshot "ensures regularity" (are Kidman's innards as smooth and immovable as her face? Probably best not to ask.)

A pity then Swisse cannot ensure the regular delivery of its accounts to the corporate regulator.

Chief financial officer Michael Da Gama Pinto confirmed to CBD that the company's annual report for the 2012 financial year is eight months late.

He said he joined the company four months ago and was "in the process of changing auditors".

"We're going to a big-four audit firm ... We'll be lodging with ASIC in the short term."

What does "short term" mean?

"Within a couple of months."

Why does changing auditors cause such a long delay?

"This is a procedural matter, we're on top of it."

And as failing to lodge accounts is a crime, has Swisse had any contact with ASIC's crack investigators?

"We've made ASIC aware of our process."

So informative, and ASIC was not much better. A spokesman for the watchdog declined to comment specifically on Swisse but said it had "a regular compliance program in place to identify and contact proprietary companies that have failed to lodge financial reports as required by the [Corporations] Act".


There's a bit of corporate reshuffling going on as Australia's least favourite son, Tom Waterhouse, prepares to sell his bookmaking operation (reportedly to British bookie William Hill).

Out as shareholders in Tom Waterhouse NT, which holds the bookmaking licence, are Waterhouse family companies Torolo and Wunderkid. Their shares have been transferred to Tom's aunt, Louise Waterhouse, and his dad, Robbie Waterhouse.

Robbie, who spent 14 years warned off racecourses after 1984's Fine Cotton ring-in scandal, previously held his stake in the bookmaker indirectly through Torolo. A sale of the business would, of course, put an end to unfair talk of a conflict of interest between Tom, Robbie and Louise's bookmaking business and the horse training empire run by Robbie's wife, Gai "bugger the criticism" Waterhouse.

Whether it would get Tom off Australia's TVs is another question.

Tin fills up

Thursday was your last chance to put money into Inabox, the telco wholesaler chaired by former adman and CBD's No. 1 fanboy, Siimon Reynolds.

Inabox's IPO was due to close on June 14 but was extended so the company could spend more time shaking the tin - although last week it said "despite challenging stockmarket conditions" it had "raised sufficient spread of shareholders and funds to list and carry on the business".

And on Wednesday, Inabox revealed M2 Telecommunications had stumped up $2 million, giving it 12 per cent of the company. That's great news for Siimon, as it's enough to cover his $100,000-a-year chairman's fee for 20 years.

Fighting on

CBD got the location of Palmer United Party Senate candidate Barry Michael's 1985 title fight against Lester Ellis wrong on Thursday. It was at Melbourne's famed "house of stoush", Festival Hall, not in Darwin, as CBD stated. The Darwin fight, for which Michael was never properly paid, was a compulsory defence against Korean challenger Jin Sic Choi. Michael also took exception to CBD's scepticism he could take a Senate seat; an answer to that will be delivered at the upcoming election (whenever that is).

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