Archive for April, 2010

Writers festival and book awards

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

I will join a fellow author from this year’s Walkley Book Award longlist at the Sydney Writers Festival. Matt Peacock’s (‘Killer Company’) tells the story of corporate greed and expose the failure of governments and corporate regulators. We will share the stage – on May 23 – with leading business journalist Helen Dalley.

Firepower – the book – was shortlisted for the Walkley Award.

Firepower has also been shortlisted for the Blake Dawson prize for business literature. The winner of the $30,000 book prize will be announced on 27 April.

I always dreamed that being an author would be a whirlwind of events and festivals but the truth is it is my first public event and the book has been out nearly a year. So come along. You too Tim Johnston.

Off to the NSX. Wha?

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The Tony Sage-chaired junior explorer International Petroleum has applied to list on the National Stock Exchange (NSX) for small-cap stocks amid its threat to delist from the much bigger Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The ASX this week blocked International Petroleum’s deal to acquire Eastern Petroleum, which is privately held by colourful, Firepower-linked, businessman Frank Timis, saying the merged entity may not comply with its disclosure obligations. Read more on the unfolding story here and here.

Strike three for Timis

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The Australian Securities Exchange’s cold shoulder of the controversial Romanian-born entrepreneur Frank Timis means that he has now been effectively declared persona non grata by three of the world’s leading stock exchanges. Read more from The Australian here (though the article fails to mention his connection to Firepower).

ASX rejects backdoor listings

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

The Australian securities exchange has blocked an attempt by the businessman Frank Timis to conduct back-door listings worth more than $500 million because of fears over his record of poor disclosure. Followers of Firepower will recognise Timis as the man Tim Johnston chairman hooked up with over in London when they formed Green Power Corporation after Firepower went into liquidation back in Australia. Remember the boasts about how investors would get all their money back when Green Power listed in London?

Timis, a Romanian-born Australian, earned the ire of British investors as chairman of Regal Petroleum, which was recently fined £600,000 by the Alternative Investment Market for misleading investors. He had planned to list on the Australian sharemarket through two reverse takeovers of small-cap explorers Global Iron and International Petroleum, both of which are chaired by his friend, Tony Sage, who also owns the A-League soccer club Perth Glory.

According to a press release issued yesterday by International Petroleum the companies intend to retain the Perth lawyer Martin Bennett to fight the move. Bennett was the lawyer in an unrelated recent court judgement that cleared his client Nigel Mansfield of insider trading charges. By coincidence, Mansfield’s co-accused in that case was the underworld figure John Kizon. Kizon, you will recall, was a major shareholder in both Firepower and Green Power through an obscure entity based in a Malasyian tax haven. The West Australian has more on the case here and here.