Babcock boys go for frock ‘n’ awe

[Editor’s note: Babcock & Brown … the ones that the ATO could never catch up with … but they were always bottom feeding obscurantists, weren’t they?]frock & awe

The Babcock & Brown boys – Phil Green and Trevor Loewensohn – who got the band back together under the name of boutique advisory Alceon have not lost their taste for high-octane deals.

The dynamic duo behind one of the most spectacular financial collapses of the financial crisis have popped up as the party behind a $16.4 million bid for Blacktown-based fashion powerhouse Noni B.

The suburban women’s fashion retailer put up the “for sale” sign in May when it announced that it was considering “strategic alternatives”.

It appears the paltry 51?-a-share offer from Alceon was the best the fashion shop could attract given sales have gone into reverse – which put it in the red – and left little option other than a sale.

“I am pleased that the offer will secure the future of Noni B and ensure that the company remains at the forefront of women’s fashion retailing in Australia,” says one of Noni B’s founders, Alan Kindl.

In March, Loewensohn explained that they had all learnt from their B&B days as he launched an Alceon-related listed investment vehicle.

“What went wrong with B&B in many ways is that the operating management company itself listed,” Loewensohn said. “And that created all these market pressures on it to grow and perform and buy more assets.”

As for having Babcock’s former CEO, Green, on board, Loewensohn said: “I feel extremely lucky to be working with Phil. He’s the smartest guy I’ve met, and he’s got this brilliant ability to understand and structure risk. I acknowledge that some of that discipline went out the door in the pre-GFC days at B&B.”

Yes, nothing says discipline out the door like a $9 billion collapse.

by colin kruger from fairfaxmedia


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