Amatil finally gets its woman
By · 3 Dec 2013
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3 Dec 2013
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Amatil finally gets its woman

It has taken 10 years, and two takeover bids, but Alison Watkins is finally joining Coca-Cola Amatil.

Yes, a decade has passed since the Terry Davis-led CCA failed to get the ACCC to approve its bid for the Watkins-led juice maker, Berri.

ADM's bid for GrainCorp may have been thwarted by Treasurer Joe Hockey last week but Watkins is going ahead with her well-planned hop to CCA in March next year.

As she prepares for the exit lounge, the only uncertainty is when we get details of what goodies Watkins will take with her besides lots of selfies at company grain silos.

With the finishing touches being put to the company's annual report for 2013, details of her exit package may not be finalised in time for the printers.

Corporate insiders suggest the company will not let investors wait another year for the details if this is the case.

We suggest investors won't have to wait given the company's annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for February, when plenty of pointy questions can be asked.

Watkins certainly has plenty of runs on the board on the pay front.

For the 2012 fiscal year she took home $2.886 million in base pay, and short and long-term incentives.

This is close to a perfect score given her base pay was just over the million-dollar mark with the potential to earn double that in short and long-term incentives.

The annual report says short-term incentives are payable at the discretion of the board if she leaves, while long-term incentives will be "treated as per the relevant rules".

Sun sets on Boris

The sun may finally be setting on the Age of Boris. The Poseidon-era veteran stepped down as chairman of Chapmans after 39 years in September. On Monday Boris Ganke stood down as chairman of Longreach Oil after 32 years on the board, 25 as chairman.

That leaves Southern Cross Exploration as his final directorship. Ganke survived an EGM last week to remove him "with immediate effect". He has been managing director since 1976.

Sensitive jargon

Wording is so important when it comes to blending corporate-speak with services of a more sensitive nature.

Just ask funeral operator Invocare with its reference to "favourable demographics" as one of its "revenue growth pillars" in the first half of the 2013 financial year.

Ramsay Health Care also treads carefully with the announcement its French subsidiary is acquiring Medipsy, a psychiatric hospital group. It describes Medipsy as one of the largest private psychiatric groups in France, covering most mental health disciplines, including general psychiatry and specialties like adolescent mental healthcare, gerontology, crisis and psychosocial services, as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.

Ramsay managing director Chris Rex said: "Medipsy is a well-run business with strong throughput."

We can't wait for a clear translation of "strong throughput".

TV wars reruns

The tit-for-tat continues between the free-to-air forces of good and the pay television forces of evil, Foxtel.

FTA chairman Harold Mitchell returned serve on Monday against pay TV claims to the Audit Commission review about the cost to the government of FTA "privileges".

"There is something deeply ironic about a monopoly that wants to charge ordinary Australians hundreds of dollars a month to watch their favourite sports complaining about the cost to taxpayers of a free service," he says.

And it seems like only yesterday that the commercial channels were colluding with Foxtel to beat each other up on sport broadcast rights.

Good thing that's over and they can get back to waging war on the common enemy.

"This looks like a rehash of the misleading claims pay TV made to the Convergence Review," Mitchell said. "We are disappointed pay TV is using the Audit Commission to peddle this nonsense."

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