Forum Archive Index - January 2002
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[sharechat] LTI "Out West" with the NZSE(3)- AIR Ansett Affair
On 19th December 2001 Air New Zealand Shareholders voted for the New
Zealand government to take an 82% stake in the airline. This bail
out brought to the close Air New Zealand's effort to become a global
size airline, a result the hasty snatching of control of Australian
airline "Ansett" some 9 months earlier had been meant to bed in.
Ansett subsequently collapsed.
Control of Ansett by Air New Zealand was originally sought when the
previous Australian Government had reneged on the open skies policy
that would have allowed Air New Zealand to operate within Australia
in its own right. Sir Selwyn Cushing, chairman of both Air New
Zealand and Brierley Investments, and a prolific professional
director of many other companies, has now stood down as chairman of
both Brierley Investments and Air New Zealand.
The doors of the saloon swung open and there stood the diminutive
dapper frame of Selwyn Cushing. He swaggered over to his usual
stool, sweat dripping from his brow, as the rest of the saloon went
silent. There was once a time when any of the patrons would
have bought 'Sel' a drink. But since the near collapse of the Coach
Company he had headed, the townspeople, many of whom had put up their
own gold to back 'Sel', had grown colder towards their once favourite
'Sel' winked at the barmaid as wearied words pursed his lips:
"The usual please."
Sel's wink became a quizzical expression on the barmaid's face. She
searched for the solace of a solution to her dilemma, perhaps a nod
in the right direction from the head barman? Just what
was the usual?, she thought.
'Sel', you see, was a man who had wide tastes and interests and liked
to have his fingers in lots of pies. He was the sort of man, whom if
you had asked the question:
"What sort of pie would you like best for lunch: mince, steak and
kidney, chicken, steak and mushroom, pheasant and cranberry, or bacon
would simply have answered "Yes".
'Sel' sensing the awkwardness of the moment, answered the
question that the barmaid wasn't game to ask.
"A chardonnay draught"
The uneasy ambience was finally broken by Bill, or 'Bil' as he had
become known, after he had lost one of his legs in a struggle.
"Tough day at the office Sel?"
Sel swung around. For a fleeting moment that voice that
addressed him sounded like his own. Then his glance shifted
downward to the adjacent high roller poker table before meeting
the stoic face of his former number one backer 'Bil'. In happier
days Bil and Sel had been the best of mates. It was Sel's
triumphant return to Bil that had lead to the setting up of a big
bonus profit share plan for Sel, a fact that Sel was very proud of.
But that was then and now was now.
Bil normally wore a big stetson, which completely shaded his
features. So much so, that sometimes it was hard to figure out just
who you were talking to when you were negotiating with Bil. But
with his stetson hanging from its string on the back of his chair it
was now apparent that Bil was of Asian extraction. Today Bil's face
was hard, searching and uncompromising, yet only months before it had
seemed that talking to Bil was almost like negotiating with oneself!
Sel wasn't phased. He had dealt with tough characters all his life.
There were small fish like that rival coach company operator Euan
Wilson, gunned down in a fair fight. Fair that is, if you can regard
seeing off an opponent who prefers to drink microlight beer as fair
opposition! At this thought a wry smile cracked the tension in Sel's
harrowed face. Then there were the big fish -like Governor
Keating from the neighbouring state. One of the more vocal anti
royalists, Keating had started his own state funded coach-line
somewhat provokingly named 'QueenToss'. But it was Keatings own boys
that had ended up on the wrong end of the skirmish on Sel's home
patch. Yessir, Sel had dealt with allcomers. Perversely it was
Sel's counter venture into Keating's neighbouring state where Sel
himself had ended up wounded.
Sel's weakness turned out to be a woman, a hairdresser by the name of
Ann, from the neighbouring state. Somewhat awkwardly as the dice had
now landed, Ann had previously been in a relationship with Bil when
she had operated a satellite business just down from the saloon right
here, in Sel's home town. It was Ann as she was setting her own
hair, that came up with the idea of setting up her own homespun
coach-line. She somewhat unimaginatively named this 'Ann-set'.
When Sel wanted to muscle in on the coach market in Keating's state,
he was given an ultimatum.
"You can marry our woman, or get lost."
One thing was certain. Sel wasn't the kind of man to let some
upstart hairdressing outfit from a neighbouring state ruin
his own business ambitions. Ruth Richardson was a state
senator that Sel had long admired. And dapper young Sel had been in
love with Ruth Richardson's daughter 'Tina'. But faced with the
threat of being a big fish in a small pond forever, he was sure Tina
would understand. There was no alternative!
Sel's Mom had always told him that due diligence was the key to a
lasting relationship. Nevertheless our tuxedo suited businessman
dived into his relationship with Ann with all the enthusiasm
and haste of a penguin diving off an ice shelf having eyed up that
illusive fish. Little did Sel know at that time that, like the
penguin, he would be diving into equally cold icy waters!
You know the rest. The marriage lasted a matter of months. The
governor of the neighbouring state was never going to let rival
coach-line 'Queentoss' be squeezed! History has shown that usually
experience is a prerequisite for success in business. But in markets
that are changing fast sometimes it pays to be the Virgin.
Snapped from his thoughts and back to reality, Sel realised this was
the first time he had faced Bil since his marriage collapse, and Bil
was not happy!
"I'll come back with you Bil, to your new base in Bermuda."
"We'll sort something out- an arrangement..."
As those words left his lips he thought of the ugly love triangle
that hung over his predicament and wished, as he closed his
eyes, that the whole nightmare affair would just disappear.
Sel opened his eyes, but Bil was still there. Only now Bil was
standing, and had his arms folded firmly in front of him. Sel felt a
lump come to his throat as he slid off his bar stool. There was a
clamminess in his hand and more moisture on his brow as Sel realised
that now was not the time to ask Bil about the fate of his bonus!
Message sent by Snoopy
on Pegasus Mail version 2.55
"Dogs have big tongues, so you can bet they don't
bite them by accident"
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