Coles' big daddy to riff us apart

Coles' big daddy to riff us apart

No joy for those looking to escape the dadrock bombardment deployed by supermarket Coles in its never-ending "down down" advertising campaign.

TV viewers have been enduring shameless stadium rockers Status Quo butchering their classic hits Down, Down and Whatever You Want in Coles ads created by marketing mastermind Ted Horton.

Unveiling Coles owner Wesfarmers' full-year profit result on Thursday, chief executive Richard Goyder (pictured) was asked what the Perth-based conglomerate would do once it ran out of Quo tunes.

"My daughter bought me the Status Quo CD, which is for sale in Coles for $5 apparently," Goyder said. "I can listen to all the songs in the car. There's quite a few we haven't used so there might be some way to go."

Quo singer Francis Rossi might well be willing to participate again, as he revealed in June that he was down, down $2.5 million on cocaine that went up, up, his nose - to the point where part of it fell off.

ASIC backs off

And no joy either for small investors in listed cashbox Lemarne Corporation who were hoping the corporate watchdog would take action against Melbourne's Silman family.

Shareholders were cranky after the Takeovers Panel found that Ariel Silman and dad Maurice acted in concert to accumulate a stake of more than 20 per cent in the company - well past the point where they should have mounted a takeover bid.

But after two months of "careful consideration" the Australian Securities and Investments Commission last month wrote to one Lemarne investor to say it would "not take any further action into the issues you have raised at this time".

Meanwhile, one of the directors associated with the Silmans, Amos Meltzer, resigned on Wednesday and the company has called in corporate gadfly Darren Olney-Fraser, of Mariner Corporation fame, to act as "independent chairman of the board".

"My role, as an independent chairman, is an important one for corporate governance within Lemarne," Olney-Fraser said in a letter to top 20 shareholders, seen by CBD. He promised to act in the best interests of all shareholders. The board's big decision is what to do with $2.5 million in cash - it can either back a new business into Lemarne or return the cash to shareholders and sell the shell.

Not so Jolly Roger

They're also coming a cropper on the director merry-go-round over at oil junior Buccaneer Energy, where half the board has resigned after just a month and a half.

The trio, Nicholas Davies, Clinton Adams and Shaun Scott, were nominated by two Singaporean investors who held 5.5 per cent of Buccaneer - a move management insisted was an attempt to gain control of the company. Buccaneer now has three directors, the minimum allowed, while it waits for 19.9 per cent investor Meridian Capital to decide who it wants on the board.

Tosca's the tonic

With her husband on the election hustings, Margie Abbott took two of her daughters to the opera on Wednesday night. Nothing like Puccini's Italian love tragedy, Tosca, to stir the emotions. But would Tony be Cavaradossi, the ill-fated painter who is Floria Tosca's lover and cops all the torture to keep his friend safe, or the nasty chief of police, who double-crosses them all?

Libs sell a fistful

Still on matters political, and CBD notes that the Victorian Liberal Party has stopped selling a campaign T-shirt emblazoned with a raised fist logo somewhat reminiscent of the one used by the Black Panthers and various smelly anti-capitalist Occupy groups.

The shirt is sold out, according to the party's website. Perhaps sales were helped by the free publicity Fairfax Media and others gave the quixotic design on Wednesday and Thursday?

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