SinTel won't confess its sins

SinTel won't confess its sins, by Michael West - 7th December 2004
(Credit: The Australian)
(Mediaman director, Greg Tingle, quoted)

HARD ... ahem ... on the heels of last week's story that SinTel Optus had been sued by client and international pornographer Gilsan, it was time to find out how much money SinTel actually made from 'adult services'.

SinTel's public relations department was naturally over the moon to hear from us on an issue of such public interest.

'Please attribute to an Optus spokesperson. Optus does not break down its revenue by product category. We can say that adult services account for only a fraction of 1 per cent of our revenue. Optus strictly complies with the regulatory requirements regarding adult services in Australia'.

So it's a fraction of $60 million, $59.9million perhaps, though, er, well-connected sources doubt whether this figure would address the throbbing revenue contribution from porn-related visitations on Optus broadband.

A former Optus and Telstra 'salesperson of the month', Greg Tingle, reckons 'Optus and Telstra generate at least 20 per cent of their business via adult-related business arms'.

That does sound a tad humungous. We didn't call Telstra about adult services revenue because it took 129 days for its PR department to tell us how many PRs Telstra had in its PR department. So, by the time Telstra had established a special PR taskforce to deliberate on how to not give us an answer, the internet would have been obsolete.

Maccas to the rescue

EXTRACT from Sunday morning's Inside Business show on the ABC. A quote from Denise Brailey, who has been running seminars for victims of property spruikers: 'Certainly, we've got a couple of wins with St George Bank now. It's obvious there are a lot of other ... victims out there. ASIC aren't (sic) doing anywhere near enough for what we need them (sic) to do on these matters and we did say last broadcast (sic) that we would hold a seminar, 'How to steal $500 million in 12 months and get away with it'. So we had to look at funding to do that and I'm pleased to announce that Macquarie Bank have (sic) decided to assist us.'

Bravo Maccas!

Burglers take the cake

AND bravo to the Warburglers, too, which trumped MacBank this year in the Bloomberg dealmaking stakes. From $US102 billion ($131 billion) in announced merger and acquisitions in Australia, the Burglers had a role in 46 deals valued at $US63.1 billion, versus 42 deals worth $US45.7 million for Maccas. JP Morgan, which has built up its team under ex-Burgler gangleader Andy Pridham, was third.

As Macquarie and the Burglers share many deals, Australia has quite the merchant banking duopoly -- a duopoly that would even attract the eye of Big Graeme at the ACCC were not the barriers to entry so low. So very low. (Infrastructure: a mouth and a phone.)

According to Freeman & Co, a New York research firm, the $US66 billion in completed deals during the first nine months of this year generated $US544 million in fees to the impoverished merchant banking sector. Yet the startling point in the Bloomberg survey was that M&A activity in Australia was higher, in dollar terms, than in Japan.

Gwalia deal good as gold

FERRIER Hodgson won't have much trouble flogging Sons of Gwalia's gold and tantalum assets, now that Sons' shareholders have been excoriated.

The Burglers are presiding over the sale of the tantalum operations and Maccas the gold. And now that former boss of Macquarie's corporate arm, Johnnie Calden, has moved to 13 per cent of Haddington Resources, Haddington's got to be a good bet for the tantalum. You'd think the House of Sachs would have had a role, given it was Sons' greatest supporter -- until it slunk off the register under the guise of 'Wellington', or something like that, before Sons bit the dust. Elsewhere, WA goldie Northwest Resources debuted at a 50 per cent premium yesterday, having pursued a no-WA brokers distribution policy so the stock didn't get slammed from day one. Fair dinkum.

In real estate, Lion Equities has transubstantiated into Jackgreen. Betting there are enough colour-blind customers willing to buy 'green' electricity, the lads are selling 22 million shares at 20c apiece. But that only accounts for 26.67 per cent of the capital because the boys have 43.5 million. Whether it's worth buying this business we know not, but there are more related-party transactions than a Greek wedding in that old prospectus.

The heart of silence

ARTIFICIAL heart maker Ventracor has taken four days to not confirm that an implant patient has died at St Vincent's Hospital. Ventracor has a regulatory trial going for its heart device with 30-50 patients whose results won't be known until mid next year. The patient in question survived only a few days.


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