South American adventures keep Nick Bolton from important court date

Where is Nick Bolton? That was the question being asked around the Federal Court a few weeks ago when Australia's favourite hipster spiv failed to show for cross-examination at a hearing.It was a rather important hearing.

Bolton was applying for an extension of time to apply for a review of a Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) decision that went against him.

It was a rather important decision. It related to a tax expense for Australian Style Investments (ASI), which had Bolton as its only director, and led to the company being wound up.

This paved the way for ASIC to ban him from acting as a company director for three years.So why wasn't Bolton in court to be cross-examined over the affidavit he filed in July?

Justice Tony Pagone was clearly unimpressed with the explanation from Bolton's solicitor, Vaughan Hager, which he found to be "unsatisfactory".

"Communications between Mr Bolton and Mr Hager had been taking place by occasional email and text messages in circumstances which gave no confidence that Mr Hager's instructions were well-founded.

"Mr Bolton appeared to be somewhere in South America and was thought by Mr Hager to be returning to Australia after around 22 November 2017, but Mr Hager's basis for that belief was no more than Mr Hager's imprecise recollection of possibly a text message, or possibly an email, neither of which was produced in response to a formal call for production."

Bolton's affidavit did not impress anyone either. Among other things, it attested to the "significant financial strain he suffered and his inability to fund investigation of the ASIC banning order" which contributed to his delay in applying for a review of the AAT decision.

"Broad statements of having significant financial strain that materially delayed his ability to review the Disqualification Order are too generalised and self-serving to provide a basis for the Court to find an explanation sufficient to grant an extension," said the judgement.

Needless to say Bolton did not get his extension.

Molopo Energised

And while we're on the subject of Bolton, his team of corporate raiders at Keybridge Capital have failed in their Supreme Court of Victoria battle to stop ASX-listed cash box, Molopo Energy, from spending $US4.5 million to get into business again.

Associates of Bolton, including Perth raider Farooq Khan, face competition from veteran fundie, Geoff Wilson, who has also lobbed a bid for Molopo which has a market valuation of $35 million and a cash balance of $65 million.

Queen Elisabeth

While Rupert Murdoch goes into overdrive to ensure James Murdoch still has a job after 21st Century Fox sells off a big chunk of its business to Disney, the smartest of his progeny Elisabeth Murdoch is getting on with life.

This week she was appointed to the Arts Council England's National Council - the arts body that oversees ??1.8 billion of funding for from 2015 to 2018 to enrich the lives of its subjects.

Sounds like more fun than the boys are having at the moment, watching Rupert split up the empire again. Mind you, Rupert can't enjoy the news coming from Los Angeles reporting that parts of his Moraga vineyard have gone up in smoke.

Nothing to do with global warming, of course.

Snowball's chance

The engines are rumbling on Patrick Snowball's latest adventure.

The former British tank commander, and Suncorp boss, recently signed up as chairman of UK car insurance underwriter, Sabre, which made its debut on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

The specialist insurer is headed to market at a price of 230 pence a share, which valued the group at ??575 million. New investors picked up 125 million shares - half of Sabre's stock - for ??287.5 million pounds.

The good news for Snowball, who owned more than 100,000 shares prior to the float, is that the stock recorded strong gains in morning trading.

Snowball also picks up ??150,000 a year as chairman, which is a bit of a downgrade from his last pay packet at Suncorp. Snowball's remuneration topped $8 million.

Follow CBD on Twitter. Got a tip?

This story South American adventures keep Nick Bolton from important court date first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.