Illustration: John Shakespeare.

Illustration: John Shakespeare.

Gina Rinehart's former right-hand man, Paul Mulder, offered a very manly response to safety concerns last month when he headed for the wilds of Papua New Guinea for his latest venture.

Mulder, who left Rinehart's coal and infrastructure businesses to lead PNG minerals explorer Mayur Resources, told Fairfax Media that ''the media play up stories of violence and political instability''.

''This lazy and confused journalism ultimately leaves more opportunity for those entrepreneurial groups that can see through this.''

Of course, it helps to have the right people by your side. Head of business affairs at Mayur is a certain rugby league legend by the name of Darren Lockyer. Not a bad person to have opening the door for you in league-mad PNG either.

Mayur also includes David Irvine as a director but CBD can confirm it is not the ASIO chief, who has announced plans to step down in September.

Lew's laughing

A good retailer can make money no matter what the environment - just ask legendary rag trader Solomon Lew. While Kathmandu shares tanked on a profit downgrade on Tuesday, Lew was laughing all the way to the bank after wrestling his South African nemesis Woolworths into submission.

Lew successfully used his blocking stake in Woolies takeover target David Jones to leverage a sweet $207 million exit from his stake in Woolies-controlled Country Road.

CBD couldn't wait to hear Woolies' explanation to investors on how paying a nose-bleed $17 a share for Lew's Country Road shares was in their interests after holding out on him for nearly two decades.

Woolies boss Ian Moir explained that: ''In light of the proposed acquisition of David Jones, this is a commonsense and timely opportunity to seek to reach full ownership of Country Road.''

And to think the shares were trading below $4 just before Christmas. Maybe they should have mopped up the Country Road shares before making the DJs bid.

Not that Woolies is paying too much. ''The consideration [Woolies] is prepared to offer Country Road's minority shareholders has been determined having regard to the value of Country Road taking into account its financial performance and outlook, including previously announced growth initiatives,'' it says.

Myer's red faces …

The $207 million kiss-off from Woolies means Lew has no further motive for playing spoiler to its DJs nuptials. But don't be surprised if Myer chief, Bernie Brookes, is still offering to send Lew a congratulatory bottle of bubbly.

Lew's checkout bonanza helped suck some of the oxygen from the embarrassing news that one of Myer's three new recruits, all potential CEO material apparently, was being ejected for an overly imaginative CV.

It ends up the supposed recruit from Zara, Andrew Flanagan, has never worked for the Spanish retailer. CBD found an Andrew Flanagan who is an armed guard in Los Angeles. Maybe there was just a little bit of confusion.

Apparently the ''Zara'' Flanagan was already undergoing induction at Myer when he was shown the door. Depending on how Myer plays its options, his next interview might be with the local constabulary.

… redder at Quest

CBD can't wait to find out how Flanagan trod his way through the minefield of interviews by Myer's headhunter, and the department store itself, to nab the job. His whole CV is now in doubt including alleged time at Tesco's and WalMart.

All is quiet for the moment while everyone considers the legal implications of his caper.

''Unfortunately at this stage, due to legal constraints in a number of areas, I am unable to publicly comment on this matter,'' says Lorraine Tribe, who heads the headhunter in question, Quest Personnel.

Got a tip? ckruger@fairfaxmedia.com.au