Babcock and Brown’s broadband bow out. The investment bank, Babcock and Brown, has ruled itself out of bidding for the Federal Government’s broadband network, a move said to be a “blow” to Canberra. It’s not hard to work out why Babcock isn’t interested: it’s in Australia, not in Britain or Europe where it can quite easily revalue assets to produce nice little earnings lifts, without being challenged by suspicious auditors or analysts. Which perhaps explains its purchase of Angel Trains from The Royal Bank of Scotland. The London Daily Telegraph reported overnight: “It is believed that the company has been sold to a consortium led by the investment firm Babcock & Brown and backed by Deutsche Bank.” The value of the deal was claimed to be four billion pounds, or around $A8.1 billion. That would be around 10 times what RBS paid for it back in 1997. Babcock and Brown and Deutsche Bank are very close: they have done deals in aircraft leasing, the German bank is handling the sale of BNB’s European windfarms and in March handled a placement that raised a well-timed $220 million or so for the investment bank at a time when confidence in its future was strained. Babcock and Brown did a private placement of 16.12 million common shares at $13.65 per share for gross proceeds of $220.04 million on March 26. Deutsche Bank AG served as the sole placement agent. BNB shares closed at $13.49 yesterday. — Glenn Dyer

The curse of Opes Prime strikes Destra. The curse of Opes Prime has struck the media wannabe Destra Corporation and its ambitious CEO, Domenic Carosa. The Seven Network regional affiliate, Prime Media Group this morning revealed it had sacked the board and management of Destra, except for one person, Prime’s CEO, Warwick Syphers. The move came less than a day after Prime’s stake in Destra jumped from 19.9% to 44% through a rights issue that went virtually unsupported by Destra shareholders, except for Prime. Destra raised $15 million in the issue, with $14.7 million of that coming from Prime. A statement this morning said the Destra directors who resigned were chairman, Carl Olsen, chief executive Domenic Carosa, chief financial officer Richard Wingrove, Joshua Landau and Neville Christie. Carosa’s replacement as executive chairman will be David Gordon. Gordon is the principal of Sydney-based media advisory business Lexicon Partners. The third member of the board will be Peter Evans, a director of Prime. Destra said the new board would undertake a strategic review of the company, including issues of business strategy and consolidation of Destra’s many different divisions. The big crusher for Destra, Carosa and the board was their adventure with Opes Prime, which involved the company’s attempts to takeover the much larger Beyond, the independent TV and film production house responsible for programs like Beyond Tomorrow and Mythbusters. Destra used Opes Prime last November to buy about 6 million shares in Beyond and as part of the funding deal, the legal title to the Beyond shares passed to Opes, but not the voting and dividend rights. — Glenn Dyer