CEOs cook up some cash flows
CHIEF executives would be feeling pretty good after doing their bit for charity at Monday night’s CEO Cookoff in Sydney. The million bucks pledged will do great things for homeless people – provided it all gets collected, of course – but CBD is more interested in where it’s coming from.
Qantas boss Alan Joyce, whose occasionally flying kangaroo sponsors the event, raised a whopping $58,000. A-list donors, including his chairman, Leigh Clifford, David Jones boss Paul Zahra and Telstra’s David Thodey, each stumped up $200. Perhaps it was all that was in their wallets that day. The big money came from CBA ($2500), Airbus ($5000) and Consolidated Travel ($10,000).
Publican Justin Hemmes also did well, raking in more than $33,000. His donors included Consolidated Press Holdings ($5000) and the member for Kooyong, Josh Frydenberg.
Interestingly, Frydenberg also got $1000 from Michael Harmer’s Harmers Workplace Lawyers. Good to see the firm has money to spare despite the expense of running an appeal against Federal Court judge Steven Rares’ stinging finding that Harmer had abused court processes in the harassment case his client James Ashby brought against former Speaker Peter Slipper.
My ASIC stops by
ONCE upon a time it was a high-flying sponsor of the Port Adelaide Football Club that boasted a boardroom packed with Liberal Party heavyweights.
These days My ATM is a far more modest beast, but one still showing a propensity for getting into trouble with corporate umpire ASIC.
ASIC last week issued an interim stop order barring the ATM company from issuing 250 million shares at the princely price of 1¢ each (thus raising $2.5 million).
It’s not the first time ASIC has blown the whistle on a My ATM prospectus. In mid-2010, when the company’s board included long-serving MP and senator Grant Chapman and a former parliamentary secretary for corporate law, Ross Cameron, ASIC stopped a prospectus to raise $10 million, delaying the float.
My ATM did eventually list, getting on the bourse in early January 2011, but it lasted less than 12 months before being suspended after going into administration.
These days the pollies are long gone and My ATM has a different board and management, headed by chairman Adam Sierakowski. Sierakowski’s Trident Capital is leading a recapitalisation of My ATM and stands to end up with up to 15 per cent of the company if the prospectus gets back on.
CBD asked him to explain ASIC’s concerns and was told the interim stop order ‘‘was only received on Friday afternoon and is with the company’s lawyers’’.
‘‘We are confident the company will address these concerns in the coming days,’’ he said.
Strife on the beach
VETERAN wheeler and dealer Boris Ganke faces losing his stake in a Fijian beachfront property if shareholders storm the fortress at a company he chairs, Southern Cross Exploration (which glories in the raunchy ASX code SXX).
For seven years, Ganke has been locked in battle with Adelaide investor Tim Lebbon over the future of SXX. Lebbon has sued the company twice and called three shareholder meetings trying to tip out directors aligned with Ganke.
Lebbon, who owns 14.5 per cent of the company, has been unsuccessful so far, but will hope it’s third time lucky when shareholders meet later this month.
Backing up his latest bid are a pair who together claim to control an additional 29.5 per cent of the company: Bruce Burrell, who is a director of two other Ganke-chaired companies, and stockbroker Alex Keach.
In their sights are Ganke’s son Eugene Ganke and Evelyn Goh, who is Ganke’s business partner in the Fijian venture, whom they hope to replace with Burrell and Keach. But they plan to retain Ganke snr.
Goh and the elder Ganke are directors of and shareholders in Nadi Bay Beach Corporation, which owns a property with 500 metres of beachfront. Southern Cross owns 20 per cent of the company and has extended it a $7 million loan.
‘‘Interest is not paid in cash each year thus putting SXX under constant cash flow pressure,’’ Burrell and Keach said in a letter to shareholders. ‘‘We believe that SXX should develop a definite plan for the realisation of this asset by enforcing its rights under the mortgage . . . this will not happen under the current management.’’
In their letter to shareholders, Ganke and Goh described this as ‘‘an attempted takeover on the cheap’’ and claim that ‘‘the company’s prospects may be damaged if the current board is removed’’. All will be revealed when shareholders meet in Sydney on February 26. In the meantime, SXX’s latest quarterly ASX report shows it had just $6000 in the bank as of December 31, having burnt through $133,000 in the previous three months.
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