typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

John Gay sold out his stake in Gunns 3 weeks ago?

with one comment

No, actually, he didn’t. The entry that follows today was posted at pace, given the apparent significance of the information and solid support for the conclusion. Wrong and wrong. Given the opportunity to further research this matter tonight, and the advice of a particularly good journo with experience in the financial sector – this seems to not seem to be what it seems to be. I am leaving the article as is for posterity’s sake, but the apparent disappearance of John Gay from the list of substantial shareholders actually is just that. With an additional 15 million shares recently released as part of Gunns voracious appetite for cash-money, there are more Gunns shares in the world. Gay’s holding has not decreased substantively, but has decreased relatively. When a holding slips below 5% of outstanding shares, the holder is no longer substantial and the listing vanishes until they but more and again break that magical 5% mark…. And now, laugh at history:

I think that this is significant breaking news regarding the proposed pulp mill in Tasmania. I may well have missed some media coverage, maybe this was all pre-ordained by contractual agreements or obligations, but please read on and correct me via comments if you happen to know better.

At some point between August 31, 2006 and June 21, 2007 – despite the fact that they are tickets to Paradise if the pulp mill happens and turns out to be all that is *ahem* promised – Gunns chief John Gay has offloaded over 17.8 million shares which he personally held in the company. He has effectively reduced his stake in Gunns Ltd from 5.27% to 0.0% as of June 21, 2007.

As far as coverage of Gunns-related current affairs-trauma is concerned, Matthew Denholm continues to be outstanding. The fact that he makes no mention of Gay’s offload in this piece written on June 23 makes me think that either this strange manouevre has not been covered or has been deemed unworthy of attention.

look at the June 21 entry for ’shareholders selling’

This may be the most legitimate transaction in the whole Pulp Mill Assprovement process. But still… it seems a very strange move for a director with any faith in their product to make. Selling out because the shares are about to tank and then buying back in on a double-stake would also be too blatant for the bloke pulling the levers to even consider.

I think that this is truly an almighty forests/ environment/ economics/ pulp mill/ Gunns/ current affair/ media silence WTF. Does anybody know why Gay happens to have offloaded at this point in time and why this isn’t a significant piece in a bigger Tasmanian picture?

Written by typingisnotactivism

July 12, 2007 at 4:41 pm

One Response

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  1. How could this be insignificant news?? Unworthy of attention? What is going on? Is it getting out before collapse? Making the most of a bad situation? Buy back at lowest point? Sell again, if mill approved and shares go up? Too blatant, not for this bloke. But insider trading is illegal. Or is it when you are not a shareholder you are not liable, if someone is going to sue you? Is Gay going to announce his retirement? Sorry no answers, just more questions. The plot thickens.

    ed – Yep, it certainly is a thickening plot. There has been one suggestion via email that the amount received for this quantity of shares would be close to $60 million, which apparently is close to the amount Gunns might have had to pay by June to hedge their loan. This same correspondent also pointed out that this would be both an unlikely and a very odd thing to occur – given that Gunns are generally flush with cash thanks to MIS and it would be odd for such a company expense to come from Mr Gay’s personal assets.

    Charles & Claire Gilmour

    July 12, 2007 at 8:57 pm


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