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Private Bin: Big sausage but where's the beef?

Friday 24th March 2000

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Sizzling Sausage Software founder Steve Outtrim is already making efforts to spend the dosh.

In six years he has gone from being unemployed in Wellitropolis to hitting the big time across the Tasman with his home-developed Hot Dog Web Editor product.

How big a time he has hit is hard to know.

After this week's deal with Telstra-linked Solution 6 the media gushed he was now the country's richest man, worth near $900 million. They claimed he outranked The National Business Review Rich List 1999's top dog, Doug Myers, worth $525 million.

But they hadn't done their homework. The deal really did make Mr Outtrim a rich man - but since the company's annual report for the year to June 1999, on which their valuations were based, he has sold down his 44.8% share in Sausage to under 10% or 11.28 million shares, a company spokesman said.

Since the deal valued Sausage at $A1.6 billion, his slice of the action on paper was a maximum of $A160 million.

But that's not stopping him spending up large.

Moving on from toys like pool tables, Outtrim bought Stane Brae, 119 hectares in metropolitan Melbourne. Billed as the largest private home site in the area, he paid $A2.5 million.

His chairman, Gil Hoskins, bought a house in Toorak, Melbourne for $A3.7 million last year and is involved in a $20 million property development in Melbourne.

Melbourne real estate agents said while tycoons were making bids for properties significantly bigger in dollar values than flashy 1980s entrepreneurs, there was not the same degree of conspicuous consumption.

An intensely private man who hates having his photo taken, Outtrim is giving a rare public speech at the next IT Investment Forum on May 8 in Auckland.

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