Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Angry creditors gather to hear the grim news -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

ELEANOR HALL: Angry Babcock and Brown creditors have held their first meeting since the company
went into voluntary administration earlier this month.

The company had borrowed heavily to buy infrastructure assets as the financial crisis hit and
collapsed owing billions of dollars to its bankers and investors.

Finance reporter, Sue Lannin, is at the creditor's meeting and joins us now.

So Sue, how bad is the situation for creditors?

SUE LANNIN: Well, Eleanor, the meeting is actually just wrapped up and we just heard from the
administrator, David Lombe from Deloitte. Now he described the situation as challenged. He said
that he felt very challenged. He says he doesn't know how long it is going to take.

There is going to be a three to four month investigation and then the administrators will have a
better idea of how much, if any, money they can get back to creditors.

Now Babcock and Brown went into voluntary administration earlier this month. They owe about
$3.2-billion to the banks. That is in what is known as senior debt. There is note holders that are
owed about $615-million but the shareholders are probably in the worst position.

Now their shares were worth, reached $35 a share back in 2007. The company's market value was
$10-billion. Over the past year the shares fell 99 per cent. They reached a low of 14 cents. Now
they last traded in January at 33 cents.

So basically the market value went from $10-billion to $122-million now and some retail investors I
spoke to today weren't happy.

ANTOINETTE BILLET: Very depressed. Could have spent it on clothes.

ROBERT BILLET: When you are in your mid-70s I think it is a bit hard because you have got no chance
of recovering any of it. That was the hardest part about it. I suppose we are fortunate to a lot of
people who have done everything. We unfortunately haven't done everything but yes we are a bit

Well, the original letter I received last week as well was saying they are offering us five cents
in the $100. That is not even postage money is it?

ELEANOR HALL: Self-funded retirees Antoinette and Robert Billet speaking just before the creditors
meeting. They had $140,000 invested with Babcock and Brown.

Now Sue, did the administrators say who was to blame for the company's problems?

SUE LANNIN: No. David Lombe from Deloittes said it was really too early to say what the reasons
were and how much investors will get back.

Now essentially Babcock and Brown went into voluntary administration earlier this month. That is
after note holders in New Zealand voted against a plan to restructure their investments. They
refused to pass that vote because they said that the banks would benefit most from it.

But the main reason that Babcock and Brown has gone under is because it borrowed too much to buy
assets. When the global financial crisis hit, the cost of borrowing skyrocketed, asset values fell
and that is essentially the reason that Babcock and Brown and other highly, they're indebted
companies such as Alco Finance Group, ABC Learning, that is the real reason they've gone under.

They are just another high profile victim of the global financial crisis.

ELEANOR HALL: Sue Lannin at that creditors meeting for Babcock and Brown.