CBD

Illustration: John Shakespeare.

Illustration: John Shakespeare.

Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron has been a busy lady of late, but at least she has been spared mediation and a public examination by the liquidators of the aptly named Retail Adventures.

Cameron was set to face public questioning earlier this month over the retail group's collapse but this was delayed when the liquidators, headed by Deloitte's Vaughan Strawbridge, opted for mediation.

According to the minutes of a committee meeting held by the liquidators last month, all legal action against Cameron and her related entities was put on hold while mediation took place.

Strawbridge wanted to see whether a settlement could be reached instead of going through the expensive and time-consuming option of dragging Cameron and her related entities through the courts on claims amounting to $100 million in total.

Strawbridge told the meeting that a settlement via mediation had advantages. This includes that legal action would require funding from IMF, which would then see the litigation funder receive around 35 per cent of any monies recovered.

The mediation talks, which were meant to conclude on Friday, June 13, have been postponed until next month due to the absence of certain significant parties.

Organic balsam?

Cameron may be more partial to a settlement deal next month if the proposed $100 million float of Bellamy's Organic goes ahead.

Cameron invested in the company several years ago and has been rumoured to be selling her stake, now valued at up to $40 million, into the initial public offering (IPO).

But it is not clear that a sell-down is what Cameron wants.

She joined the board of Bellamy's Australia Ltd in March last year when it was still known as Tasmanian Pure Foods Ltd.

CBD would not expect her to be joining the board, when an IPO was clearly on the horizon, if she was planning on selling out.

Nary a share

Peter Bush, chairman of the newly listed hotel operator, Mantra Group, has certainly demonstrated a nose for investing.

Maybe it was all those days as chief burger flipper at Maccas.

The Mantra prospectus reports Bush did not have any skin in the game - other than his $250,000 annual salary - when the company made a decidedly soft debut on Friday.

Buyers are not expected to rush into the consumer discretionary stock given the state of consumer confidence since Treasurer Joe Hockey's bruising budget.

It is the second time this financial year Bush has side-stepped a soft float.

He stepped down as chairman of Nine Entertainment just before its IPO in December last year, and CBD failed to find any trace of him on that share register either.

The broadcaster's shares travelled comfortably below its $2.05 IPO price after the float before making amends in January this year.

That's more like it

Smartgroup chairman Michael Carapiet is taking a different tack, applying for $1 million of shares in the float of the salary packager to add to his current holdings.

The Macquarie Group veteran already owns 1.2 million shares, half of which will be held in escrow for 12 months after next month's float.

CBD assumes that Carapiet will be showing similar enthusiasm for the other venture he is chairing, Adexum Capital. The wannabe listed investment fund is seeking $40 million in pre-IPO capital with a view to listing on the ASX by the end of next year.

But not this

It is a pity Carapiet isn't on the Cabcharge board. The taxi payments provider has booked a deputy for its chairman, Russell Balding, with Neill Ford being appointed to the post.

Alas, the chairs cannot lay claim to a single Cabcharge share between them, though at least the new chief executive, Andrew Skelton, has 6861 shares to share around, according to last year's annual report.

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ckruger@fairfaxmedia.com.au