ROWE DISMISSES CLASS ACTION AS WEAK

Written on the 13 May 2009

 

BRISCONNECTIONS chairman Trevor Rowe believes unitholder Jim Byrnes does not have much of a case when it comes to his $1.3 billion class action against the toll-road project and Macquarie Group.
Byrnes was told by the Sydney Federal Court to refile his claim as it wasn’t in an accepted form, with a likely due date for a re-submission on May 15.
“I can assure you that myself and the board believe there are no grounds for that suit and I can say that definitively,” says Rowe.
“We’re now finding out which unitholders qualify for Macquarie’s acquisition offer, and clearly the most important thing from the board’s point of view is adding value with the construction.
“We’re now getting ready to set the traffic to ‘ramp up’ onto the toll road. We’re now focused on executing on the companies PPP (public private partnership) which is a delight to say is on time and on budget.”
Rowe pulls no punches when it comes to rebel unitholder Nicholas Bolton, who after voting to wind up the company, went against his own request and sold his shares for $4.5 million to John Holland, a builder from the initial BrisConnections consortium.
“It was an enormous diversion that meant we needed to use unnecessary resources to deal with that matter.
“Then, for him to sell his voting rights caused a lot of people discomfort and enormous expense,” he says.
 
BRISCONNECTIONS TIMELINE
 
February 26, 2007
Queensland Government calls for airport link project tenders, due for completion 2012.
May 19, 2008
Premier Bligh announces BrisConnections as the preferred bidder to build Airport Link, the next section of the Northern Busway and a flyover road to fix gridlocked Airport roundabout. Total cost of projects estimated at $4.8 billion.
June 24, 2008
$1.17 billion worth of units offered at $3 each on an instalment basis of $1 on application and further $1 payments due nine months and 18 months after July 29.
July 31, 2008
Stapled units float on ASX, dropping 41 cents on the first day.
October, 2008
Shares reach a minimum of 0.1 cent.
February 17, 2009
Nicholas Bolton’s company Australian Style Investments, which is a major shareholder, asks for extraordinary meeting to wind up the company.
April 14, 2009
Bolton votes against his own request and sells his shares for $4.5 million to John Holland, a builder that is part of the initial consortium.
April 22, 2009
BrisConnections announces Macquarie Bank offer to acquire unit trusts from eligible unitholders and pay off the remaining $2 instalments per share.
April 24, 2009
Brisbane Toll Road Link, headed by Jim Byrnes, launches class action against Macquarie Bank and Macquarie Capital Advisers Limited, as well as BrisConnections management, proposing its position as manager be removed.
April 29, 2009
Due date for first set of $1 instalments due but less than one third are paid by May 1. Deutsche Bank and Macquarie Bank are still looking for $286 million.
May 1, 2009
Macquarie Bank increases voting power from 8.05 per cent to 9.63 per cent.
May 7, 2009
Trading resumes.

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