Philip Bowman, the former Coles Myer finance director who blew the
whistle on Solly Lew’s dodgy Yannon transaction in 1994-95, has landed himself
another top job in the UK after building and then selling drinks giant
Scottish Power, a utilities giant valued at about $25 billion,
appointed Bowman CEO overnight, and the market immediately embraced the move
as shares in the company jumped 3.5% in morning trade. The Daily Telegraph and The Times have good coverage of the story.
Having just completed Allied Domecq’s $17 billion merger with rival
drinks giant Pernod Ricard, the markets are speculating that Bowman has
been hired to sell Scottish Power after the previous CEO of 11 years,
Ian Russell, drove the rejection of a bid by German utility E.ON last
We’ve updated Crikey’s list of the most successful Australian expats in
global business and Bowman’s latest appointment certainly makes him a
prominent member. A former non-executive director of BSkyB, Bowman
recently also joined the board of Scottish & Newcastle, the beer
giant which bought Foster’s out of its Courage business in 1995.
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Bowman could yet also join the Crikey Revised Wealth (CRW) list
as he was estimated to have pocketed $40 million from the sale of
his Allied Domecq shares. His estranged Australian partner, Geraldine de
Malet, will take a keen
interest in such reports as she last year sued Bowman in the
Victorian Supreme Court claiming a slice of his assets. The Age’s Christopher Webb had the juicy story
which included the following:
Geraldine de Malet’s claim listed a string of
properties in Noosa, Kerrie, Frankston South, Carlton and Cape Schanck,
including a rural property known as Witchwood. She said Witchwood, in
the Kerrie Valley on the outskirts of Melbourne, was jointly owned with
Bowman, and that she had made a significant financial contribution when
it was bought. She sought half ownership of all property acquired by
Bowman over the 11 years to January last year. The claim stated that
their relationship ceased early last year as a result of Bowman “having
a relationship with his secretary”.
And what would Bowman’s new lover, his Allied Domecq secretary, think
of him moving from his old base near the company’s HQ in Bristol to the
mean streets of Glasgow?