Business

ANALYSIS
Save
Print
License article

Tom Waterhouse heading for back paddock after William Hill sale

With the local operations of the William Hill heading into the safe hands of Matthew Tripp’s CrownBet, it is time to answer the really big question on everyone’s lips: What will become of the local boss Tom Waterhouse?

Will Tom revive his toxic brand and return to our TV screens? The answer is a pretty definitive no.

The evidence is pointing in the direction of many years of peace and quiet on this front as Waterhouse serves out a non-compete clause - assuming his services are no longer required by the new owners of the William Hill business, which owns the now defunct TomWaterhouse.com brand.

It is clear Tripp has no use for the wunderkid other than to thank him for his role in delivering the William Hill business - built on $770 million worth of acquisitions - to CrownBet for just $300 million.

The controversy over the relentless promotion of the Waterhouse brand all those years ago almost single handedly triggered the regulatory backlash which made William Hill’s market position in Australia untenable.

While Waterhouse is expected to walk out the door with his brand name and website, he will be put in a back paddock for up to three years under the non-compete clause in his contract.

Advertisement

More interestingly, CBD understands that his dad - colourful bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse - would also be subject to a non-compete clause that restricts him to on-course bookmaking.

It certainly underlines how closely involved Robbie was with the Tom Waterhouse business.

Real worth

As Deng Xiaoping allegedly said: To get rich is glorious.

And CBD is please to report that another 10 Aussies have taken this path to glory by joining the 10 noughts club, according to the latest rich rankings from Forbes.

It might say something about the lucky country that half of these 10 new billionaires inherited their wealth.

Mind you, four of them were from a single family.

After years of legal brawls, Forbes formally recognised the four children of Gina Rinehart - John Hancock, Ginia Rinehart, Hope Welker and Bianca Rinehart - as billionaires in their own right with a $US1.3 billion fortune each.

Forbes notes the siblings are the beneficiaries “of a trust that owns a large stake in mining giant Hancock Prospecting.”

They have a long way to go before catching up to their mother, Mrs Rinehart tipped the wealth scales at $US17.4 billion.

And Forbes towed the line on Mrs Rinehart being a self-made woman - none of this heiress stuff - by noting that “Gina took her late father's bankrupted estate and rebuilt it into something much larger.”

A 100-fold increase in the price of iron ore may have played a modest role as well.

She was the only Aussie to crack the top 100 on the billionaires list, unless you include our ailing Yankee Rupert Murdoch.

Gretel Packer also formally joined the billionaires list after finally splitting her inheritance from little brother James Packer. who was camped out a bit further up the rich list with his $US4.1 billion fortune.

The newly minted billionaires who made their own fortune include; WiseTech founder Richard White with $US1.6 billion, Cotton on founder Nigel Austin, lingerie king Brett Blundy, Melbourne property developer Sam Tarascio and 71 year old former Toll Holdings boss, Paul Little.

While Ginia Rinehart ranks as our youngest billionaire, Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar were not far behind at 38 years of age and much more to show for it with fortunes worth $US3.4 billion each.

The diminished fortunes of Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest $US4.4 billion left him on level pegging with Telstra’s former cyber partner, Richard Li.

While Kerry Stokes' wealth of $US3.1 billion, left him on level pegging with some Yank by the name of Donald Trump.

Take away

It was only a matter of time before UK online takeaway giant, Just Eat, suffered indigestion from its $855 million acquisition of Aussie startup Menulog in 2015.

Let’s face it, the industry’s dot com gloss has worn away since those head days when some idiots thought Just Eat was smart to pay that much for a business that had generated just $40 million in revenue.

This week the struggling Just Eat coughed up a 40 per cent slash in the value of its Aussie business but has not taken well to the competition from the likes of Uber Eats and Deliveroo in its core Sydney and Melbourne markets.

And we're not sure what investors will make of its plans to invest more money into the Australian market to launch its own delivery service.

Maybe they should ask for a few tips from the man who walked away with most of the loot from selling Menulog to them, Leon Kamenev.

He is currently busy trying to build a French-style chateau after getting permission to demolish the four waterfront properties he bought last year for $80 million in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Follow CBD on Twitter. Got a tip? ckruger@fairfaxmedia.com.au