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Wednesday, 23 March 1994
Page: 2008


Senator MICHAEL BAUME —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—

  (a)notes that:

    (i)a director of the Danish conglomerate, Danpork AS, Mr Rene Madelaire, was reported in a Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende on 30 August 1991 as saying that his group was entering a joint venture in Australia with a `financially strong' meat wholesaler and pig producer,

    (ii)unaudited false returns for Danpork's joint-venture partner, the piggery holding company, Brown & Hatton Group Pty Limited, allegedly signed in May 1991 although not filed at the Australian Securities Commission (ASC) until June 1992, claimed aggregate profits for 1989 and 1990 of $1.3 million which were subsequently replaced after an ASC inquiry in December 1992 with returns showing parent company aggregate 1989 and 1990 losses of $4.5 million,

    (iii)the net tangible assets of the company were claimed to be $1.3 million in 1990 whereas the replacement corrected audited accounts showed a negative shareholders equity of $1.1 million, making the company technically insolvent with liabilities exceeding tangible assets by more than $5 million, resulting in the auditors qualifying the accounts by saying that `the continuity of normal business activities is dependent upon the continued support of the companies' ultimate shareholders [Mr Keating and Mr Constantinidis] together with the support of the bankers of the group', and

    (iv)that at no stage has this group ever been `financially strong' by any measure; and

  (b)expresses its concern that foreign investors may have been misled about the financial strength of this Australian piggery group.