The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Anna Bligh's BrisConnections debacle - the latest ...

The sideshow has now closed in the brawl over the fate of Queensland's massive infrastructure build, BrisConnections, and the real combatants will be entering the ring. The renegade shareholder, Nicholas Bolton, has won the legal right to hold a shareholder meeting to vote on winding up BrisConnections. Now it's time for the big boys - Deutsche Bank, Macquarie Bank and the Queensland Government - to get top billing in this financial slugfest.

See - Sydney Morning Herald - Take your seats for the battle of BrisCon.

Last November, while day-trading, Bolton saw a bargain. He bought 47 million shares in BrisConnections for a mere one-tenth of a cent apiece. Total outlay $47,000. BrisConnections shares though were "partly-paid" shares, meaning there were two more $1 instalments to pay in coming months. Suddenly, his company Australian Style Investments, was up for $94 million.

See - Sydney Morning Herald - Danger money: turning a tollway into a train wreck.

1 Comments:

Anonymous newswatch said...

Brisbane Times:

Airport link fallback plan needed: Langbroek

April 3, 2009

The State Government must outline contingency plans for the $4.8 billion Airport Link tunnel project now threatened by legal action in Melbourne and Brisbane, new Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek said yesterday.

Airport Link is Brisbane's second underground tunnel project and promises to relieve traffic congestion by 2012 by building tunnels underneath Lutwyche Road and out towards the Brisbane Airport.

It is described as Australia's largest toll project.

BrisConnections is the private company responsible for the 6.7 kilometre toll road and tunnel network and responsible for the public float arranged to fund the project.

But BrisConnections largest shareholder, Nick Bolton, won a surprise victory in Victoria's Supreme Court yesterday, allowing him to call a meeting of shareholders on April 9 to vote on winding up BrisConnections.

He now must obtain the support of 75 per cent of shareholders to wind up the company.

Mr Bolton's company, Australian Style Investments, owns a 19.9 per cent share of BrisConnections units, but left him owing $77 million to BrisConnections, after the market collapse eroded the value of his shares.

Mr Langbroek said the project's difficulties had to be addressed by the State Government and Brisbane City Council.

"Hopefully they will learn from the past when they have found themselves in a crisis and then said 'we're in a crisis, what are going to do about it?'," Mr Langbroek said.

"It would make sense obviously, if there are contingency plans," he said.

"But we are not privy to what those contingency plans are. They don't tend to work in a bi-partisan way.

"Clearly they should be planning for alternatives if the project falls over."

Mr Langbroek said Queenslanders were resilient, but said local residents and businesses who have had their properties resumed would also now be asking questions about the project.

"And all the people who live around Kalinga Park aren't going to be very happy about the big mound of dirt that is in there either," he said.

"So clearly there things for local residents who are concerned about the future of that area and the future of that project."

"And it is a major project that needs to be addressed by the State Government and, of course, the council."

Meanwhile, the Queensland Government remains confident the project will continue.

The State Government now has a direct financial stake of $267 million in the project.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser said the issue had to be resolved by BrisConnections' shareholders.

"This is clearly a matter for BrisConnections and its shareholders," Mr Fraser said.

"The government is giving consideration to and entertaining options for all of the possible outcomes and their implications for the project," he said.

"We remain of the view the project will proceed and continue to monitor developments."

The co-underwriters of the BrisConnections float, Deutsche Bank and Macquarie, must each pay half the cost of the instalments of debts under the terms of the BrisConnections public float.

The next instalments for shareholders is due on April 29, unless Mr Bolton is able to secure the support of 75 per cent of small shareholders to wind up the company on April 9.

Leighton Holdings, which has a contract to build the infrastructure for the toll road, has argued the wind-up proposal is not in the best interests of unitholders.

10:55 AM, April 03, 2009

 

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