03/12/2008 - 22:00

Margin lenders leave Swaby with sour taste

03/12/2008 - 22:00

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FALLOUT from the collapse of margin lending business Lift Capital has hit the hip pocket of one prominent Perth director.

Margin lenders leave Swaby with sour taste

FALLOUT from the collapse of margin lending business Lift Capital has hit the hip pocket of one prominent Perth director.

Last week, Deep Yellow non-executive director and Paladin Energy company secretary Gillian Swaby pocketed $708,676 through the sale of 7 million shares.

However, proceeds from the sale are expected to fund legal proceedings launched by Ms Swaby and Paladin chairman Rick Crabb, both former Lift clients, against the margin lender and its financial backer Merrill Lynch.

Earlier this year, Merrill was forced to sell shares held by Lift after McGrathNicol was appointed as administrator in April.

Ms Swaby and Mr Crabb have both claimed that Merrill did not have the right to sell the shares, which were the subject of margin loans with Lift.

It was revealed earlier this year that Ms Swaby had 7 million Paladin shares and 15 million Deep Yellow shares, then worth $3.3 million, caught up in the Lift collapse.

The parcel of Deep Yellow shares is now worth $1.5 million.

Mr Crabb had an exposure of 6.38 million Paladin shares.

Meantime, speculation continues over the sudden sale of 400,000 Fortescue Metals Group shares by chairman Herb Elliot.

The former marathon runner and colleagues have kept quiet on the sale, which netted Mr Elliot $538,735.

Some speculators say the surprise share sale may have been triggered by a margin loan call, while others say it could be connected to the Opes Prime collapse, in which a number of Perth business directors were caught.

GOYDER PACKAGE

WESFARMERS managing director Richard Goyder has acquired 220,844 shares valued at nearly $4 million as part of his long-term incentive pay package.

The incentive plan drew some angry responses from shareholders at the company's annual general meeting last month, with the majority of proxies voting against the package in a non-binding vote, which does not have to be heeded by the board.

The package provided incentives for Mr Goyder to achieve certain short- and long-term targets, including unspecified five-year return on equity goals.

Meanwhile, finance director Gen Tilbrook acquired nearly $2 million worth of shares as part of his pay package, which will be cut short following a decision to step down next year.

Mr Tilbrook has been with the company for the past 23 years.

COWDEN MOVES

CENTAMIN Egypt non-executive director Colin Cowden has exercised 500,000 options at a price just under half of the company's closing price of 90 cents earlier this week.

The options, with an exercise price of 43.55 cents, were due to expire early this month.

The issue of options, in late 2005, was part of an employee share option plan that was approved by shareholders that year.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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