As Forbes can attest, Gina Rinehart is not short of a quid at the moment. But even her considerable wealth stretches only so far.
So the Rinehart-backed Sirius Minerals - the Aussie run UK company which is attempting to fund a multi-billion dollar potash mine beneath North Yorkshire - is being forced to go cap in hand to Theresa May’s government for a helping hand.
Sirius chairman, Russell Scrimshaw - one of the founding fathers at Andrew ‘Twiggy Forrest’s Fortescue - said it is “essential” for the FTSE-listed company to secure a $US2 billion ($A2.55 billion) debt guarantee from the government to ensure it can push ahead with the next phase of the project.
“In order to fully realise this transformational opportunity for the UK, a partnership with the UK Government, in the form of a Treasury Guarantee under the Infrastructure Project Authority’s scheme, is essential,” Scrimshaw said in his end of financial year report to investors this week.
“Securing this guarantee and our stage 2 financing will be our core focus for the year ahead.”
Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting is a big fan of the project, which is a surprise given how many faces from Fortescue are involved - and she's no friend of Twiggy.
Sirius is run by former City boy Chris Fraser, who helped generate the billions of dollars of financing needed to get Fortescue up and running.
Sirius also featured another Fortescue old hand, Chris Catlow, as deputy chairman in its early days.
Twiggy has obviously passed on any involvement in the venture, but Rinehart poured in $US300 million in 2016 - including a $US50 million equity investment.
“This fits with my approach of investing in strategic areas for the long term, and I hope the product is of assistance to many Australian farmers,” Rinehart said in a statement at the time of her investment.
Maybe they can get Gina out there rattling a tin on behalf of the company. She is a strong advocate of government aid when it comes to encouraging investment with less red tape and more incentives.
To build her Roy Hill mine, Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting received a $US694 million loan from American taxpayers.
Frank Lowy is finally looking forward to stepping down as chairman of the Westfield empire.
On Thursday he was enjoying a fireside chat at the Wharton Global Forum at the Westin Sydney with an old friend, ANZ chairman David Gonski.
‘‘All my life from a young man I have worked very hard and I enjoyed it very much and I was really afraid with what I would do when I no longer had the responsibility,’’ the 87 year old Lowy confided.
‘‘And then the day came and I felt great relief instead of all those fears that I had - they all disappeared.’’
Should we mention at this point that Rupert Murdoch turns 87 on Sunday?
CBD was particularly interested in old Frankie’s answer to the obligatory question about any regrets now that his six decade career is coming to a close.
"It's hard to identify my regrets. I don't have many...and some I wouldn't tell you. I've done most of the things I've wanted," said a diplomatic Lowy.
A less discrete billionaire might have mentioned a disastrous foray into media in the 1990s when Lowy acquired some Network Ten stations from Murdoch’s News Corp for $840 million.
He didn’t blow all his dough, but it was close.
And who advised him to do the deal? A budding investment banker by the name of David Gonski.As Kerry Packer later observed, you don’t hire Gonski to to advise you on what deals to do, you hire him to tell you how to do the deal.
On a high
The former chairman of The Hydroponics Company, Alan Beasley, is on a high after claiming that the medicinal cannabis maker's two largest shareholders have backed his bid to purge the board.
It sets up a big showdown at next Thursday's shareholder meeting where Beasley has asked his fellow investors to vote out the entire board save for himself and Steven Xu, who is one of the major investors supporting his coup.
"Since being appointed a director, I have had the opportunity to consider the many aspects of the company and have formed the view that a new board is appropriate," said Xu in a statement that should be winding its way to the ASX.
"I strongly urge shareholders to support all the resolutions to be put to the meeting of March 15 as proposed by Alan Beasley."
Beasley, the former BNP Paribas country head, ex Goldman Sachs executive - and Liberal Party operator - was removed as THC’s chairman last October.
Last month issued a notice to shareholders to vote out the rest of THC’s directors and install two new directors, after expressing concerns about the company's corporate governance.