Here’s a tidbit straight from smoky back rooms of a Surrey Hills pub.
Lachlan, who left his dad’s small business last year to pursue other
interests in Australia, is reportedly talking seriously with his
cousin, Matt Handbury, about a new joint venture. Matt sold his small
but highly profitable magazine business, Murdoch Magazines – which he
brought from Rupert for about $10 mil – last year to PacPubs (aka
Pacific Magazines) for a tidy $77 mil. He now has a small, again,
highly profitable, book business. Undoubtedly Matt would have had to
sign a non-compete clause and Lachlan’s unsatisfying experience with
the volatile medium of magazines (News Mags) would discount the
possibility of a joint-venture magazine company. It’s only speculation,
but both of them, from my personal experience, are mad keen about this
new-fangled internet thing.

Young Henry (Thornton) may well be right in his explanation for Minister Nelson’s direct talks
with key players in the Defence portfolio, but I think there is a
something else going on. I don’t think Brendan has any knowledgeable
Ministerial Advisors yet – and so he has to do the talking himself. I’m
not sure why the Minister is in this situation. If my information is
correct, Brendan had better hope that nothing “happens” somewhere in
the world or things will be or very lonely in the Minister’s office… just the Minister, some uniformed chappies and those nice people from the Department.

In a stroke of synergistic genius, the Council for Arab-Australia relations
– of which Mr. Tom Harley, President of Corporate Development for BHP
Petroleum and chair of the Australian Heritage Council is also a member
– includes executives from Toyota, Mitsubishi and Woodside. And the
chair? Brendan Stewart, Chairman of the AWB.

Peter Fray

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