17/02/2004 - 21:00

Gale meets first creditor payment (preview)

17/02/2004 - 21:00

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THE article below is as complicated as a business story can get. The man at the centre of it is at the helm of a public company, yet his private business dealings raise many questions.

Gale meets first creditor payment (preview)

THE article below is as complicated as a business story can get.

The man at the centre of it is at the helm of a public company, yet his private business dealings raise many questions.

For those who didn’t read our previous story (WA Business News January 29), this is the second time Chris Gale’s private business empire has lost money – in roughly the same line of business with, in some cases, the same creditors chasing him for money.

For a man whose former business partner described as someone who can “sell sand to the Arabs”, this may not be that surprising.

It may also not come as much of a surprise that Mr Gale, despite his protestations, appears to have given himself a chance to come out ahead when so many of those his private company did business with are expecting just 25 cents in the dollar or less.

Last month Mr Gale said he was the biggest loser from the crash of his company.

This week he has admitted that those losses, including payments to a secured creditor, simply “cancel out” close to $1 million that had flowed out his failed company to another of his entities.

On top of that, he has ended up giving himself a chance of making some money out of this debacle – something his unsecured creditors won’t be doing.

If I was a Swiftel shareholder I would be wondering how the managing director I was paying ended up making such a mess. And I would be wondering why he now has a performance-based arrangement with another listed company, KLM, with which Swiftel does business.


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