20/05/2010 - 00:00

Selling out pays off

20/05/2010 - 00:00

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ANTHONY Wooles’ foray into energy infrastructure paid off handsomely late last year when the company he founded and listed five years earlier, PearlStreet, was taken over.

Selling out pays off

ANTHONY Wooles’ foray into energy infrastructure paid off handsomely late last year when the company he founded and listed five years earlier, PearlStreet, was taken over.

Under the terms of the $108.3 million takeover offer from Campbell Brothers, Mr Wooles’ 38.1 million shares were worth $28.6 million and his 9.5 million options valued at $3.7 million.

PearlStreet’s chairman, David Eiszele, was also well rewarded for his stewardship of the company’s board since 2006, with his shares and options valued at $2.5 million.

Other winners are investors via Euroz Securities, which represented more than 11 per cent of the register at June 30, including 4.7 million shares held by its Westoz Funds Management business.

After winding down his management consulting practice, Trudo, Mr Wooles founded PearlStreet in 2004 with the purchase of Integrated Power Services for an estimated $3.4 million. A provider of energy services, IPS was a joint venture between Halliburton Australia and the former monopoly power utility Western Power.

The sale was one of the rare examples of mergers and acquisition activity during the past financial year to remove an executive or director from the wealth creators list.

There have been, however, a few corporate comebacks after previous sellouts. Take for instance, Nick Giorgetta who is represented on the list as chairman of Regis Resources. Mr Giorgetta and his colleagues, Mark Clark and Morgan Hart, were all formerly of Equigold, which was taken over by Lihir. This group caused a boardroom spill last year and has been fighting legal action over the move by former Regis Resources managing director David Walker.

Another comeback artist is Alan Eggers. Mr Eggers made about $60 million for himself, and $1 billion for other shareholders in Summit Resources, when Paladin Energy bought it at the height of the 2007 uranium boom. And he’s on the way to a new fortune with his return company, Manhattan Corporation, where his stake sits around $20 million.

Manhattan is a uranium company with a significant uranium oxide resource located at the Double 8 deposit north-east of Kalgoorlie.

And what about Kerry Harmanis, the founder of Jubilee Mines, which earned him $500 million less than a year before the 2008 stock market meltdown when he sold the business to Xstrata?

His second fortune is forming inside his comeback vehicle, Talisman Mining, where he is the major shareholder. His stake is now valued at more than $12 million.

 

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