Tasmanian Times


SCOOP – secret minutes of Gunns’ board meeting

Meeting opened 11.00 am, Thursday 27th August 2009.

Big John: (speaks to Wayne) Have you faxed the preliminary final report to the ASX yet?

Wayne: No, the fax machine’s not working.

Big John: Can’t we get it fixed?

Wayne: Not before Monday, don’t worry, I’ll bring one in from home. By the way, the numbers don’t look good.

Big John: What do you mean, they don’t look good?

Wayne: Well revenue’s down. Profit’s down. We still owe the bank $650 million. And we’ve run out of cash again.

Big John: Didn’t we offload a few cases of that pinot to the cleanskin company?

Wayne: Yes, but that only covered the interest bill for a couple of days.

Big John: I know – let’s ring that guy from the mainland, you know, the one trying to sell some trees?

Independent director: Elders?

Big John: Yes, that’s him. Buy some of his trees, and do a capital raising, but raise about $45 million extra. That should keep us going.

Independent director: What about due diligence?

Big John: No, I don’t think he works there anymore.

Independent director: No, I mean an in depth investigation into the value of the Elders assets.

Big John: Don’t be a fuckwit. We’ve been cutting down trees for years. What do Elders know that we don’t?

Wayne: What should I tell the ASX?

Big John: Why should we tell them anything?

Wayne: It’s a requirement under Corporations Law.

Big John: What, like that stupid continuous disclosure requirement?

Wayne: Sort of…

Big John: Well tell them something. Give Rachel a call, too. Tell her it was good work on the Scottsdale thing.

Independent director: What about the pulp mill?

Big John: What about it?

Independent director: Well we told the exchange in June that we’d finalised a preferred joint venture partner.

Big John: Well tell them that again. It worked last time. Get that Matt from the PR company to talk it up.

Wayne: John, the guy from ANZ keeps ringing. He’s called 17 times this morning.

Big John: Tell him I’m out of the country finalising finance for the mill.

Big John: Any thing else? Where should we go for lunch?

Meeting closed 11.03am

(to be continued)

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Jarvis Cocker

    September 4, 2009 at 2:23 am

    Honni. Such a lovely name. It makes me envisage some kind of Eastern European tractor, or perhaps a kiddies chickenfeed toy.

    I don’t usually respond to criticism, particularly when the writer can’t detect irony, but when that writer is, I suspect, wasting either my taxes or my shareholders funds, I become annoyed.

    Profit result notwithstanding, Gunns does indeed use a fax machine. Honni, if you check the document lodged with the ASX requesting a trading halt on the 28th August, you will see that it was lodged by fax. The number, although I suspect you already know it, is (03) 63355406.

    Gunns did reduce debt last year. Sadly, they didn’t do so voluntarily. ANZ and the company’s major institutional shareholders forced their hand. No doubt, Honni, you are familiar with both last year’s disastrous capital raising, and the sale of Auspine assets, which combined raised more than $500 million.

    Despite raising that amount of capital, they were only able to use less than 80 per cent to reduce their crippling debt. The rest disappeared into the black hole that Gunns’ cashflow has become.

    Thanks for the suggestion about the Tamar Ridge Pinot, however the last two vintages have been disappointing. I suspect some overcropping, combined with injudicious clonal selection has made current, and future vintages cheaper to produce, but less than satisfying for the consumer. I’ll stick to pinot made by those with passion, not just an eye for a fast buck

    Finally, if you bump into John on Monday, ask him why after having the AGM on Thursday every year for aeons, this year it is scheduled on Wednesday. 10.30am on Rememberance Day no less.

    Love Jarvis.

  2. Mark

    September 4, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Email@Gunns? I guess their paper usage is reducing like everywhere else…..

  3. Gerry Mander

    September 3, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Hi Honni – in answer to your question – ‘Is there anyone even vaguely literate on this site not to mention numerate!’

    How about this understanding of numbers. After a trading halt, this week Gunns sold just over 12 million shares in one day. Two days later their share price dropped to below $1 again.

    You say Gunns reduced debt by almost $400 million. How many more millions have they got to go before they ae solvent again, and how many more mates deals do they need to do it?

    They also needed to raise $145 Million to buy a project worth $100 million. Banks don’t seem to want to lend them any more. Could there be a good reason?

    Such an inspiration. Such confidence! I think you ought to put that abacus into overdrive!

  4. William Boeder

    September 3, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Honnie Bear #5.
    I ask you whom Gunns prevailed upon to establish such figures as you presented?
    May we examine where the product came from that allowed such as your figures?

    Try the MIS schemery that is still attracting some tomfool investment into Gunns Ltd?

    Then look to the grants and subsidies received from both Federal and State governments?

    Follow this with the Lennon created transport subsidy for the pine logs from Strahan?

    Continue on with the cheap as [wood]-chips purchase price set by Lennon, Gunns and along with the other blind-visioned pro-Gunns Ltd individuals as so involved in the preferred well below firewood costing of timber?

    Then factor in the covered up losses of Forestry Tasmania to supply the Tasmanian peoples forest resources to this pirating stand-over company?

    How much do all these items add up to Honnie Bear, then send in your revised figures to the Tasmanian Times?

  5. Honni Bear

    September 3, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Cocked it up again Jarvis? A “fax machine” ??? Puleeesee!! I think a company that just made $56.2 million in a downturn probably has email these days. As for debt put on your jam jar glasses and get out the abacus mate and you will find that Gunns reduced debt by almost $400 million – not bad huh?
    Not only that – they paid 2,600 people to work for them and fed their families and kept a whole host of small businesses going in the process.(Probably organic veggie growers from the Tamar).

    And by the way, after you’ve had your nanna nap this arvo have a look at the ITC acquistion – Gunns didn’t buy “trees” they bought 4 manufacturing facilities. Then I suggest a nice bottle of Tamar Ridge Pinot to end your very hectic day!

    Is there anyone even vaguely literate on this site not to mention numerate!

  6. Russell

    September 3, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    LMOA, should be on tele.

  7. Peter Henning

    August 31, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Absolutely. No doubt about it whatsoever. A trading halt just before the end of August? Where is “representative democracy” in all this? Nowhere to be seen. A non-existent charade. But its all been said before. It’s really just a matter of whether we wait to see if the PMAA concocted provisions result in a JV operation in the short term or whether the result is a sale of the whole box and dice to foreign interests. After all, that’s what the PMAA was designed for. It’s really just a matter of when Gunns’ directors decides its best for them, for their own personal economic benefit that is, to quit and leave the consequences – with rings on their fingers and bells on their toes, and ruin and wreckage in their wake.

  8. salamander

    August 30, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    To be continued, ad nauseum

  9. William Boeder

    August 30, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Perhaps the directors could have left a little more money in the operating account, then again there are plenty of mug institutions around who would take another punt at Gunns futures, most times it’s not their money anyhow, yet somehow they manage to attract funds from poorly regulated superannuation fund investment clowns, so the poor old worker will cop it in the neck again!

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