Four more Babcock directors resign board(4)

Four more directors of fallen Australian financier Babcock & Brown have resigned their board positions in the wake of the firm’s strategic review commenced in June 2008.

Elizabeth Nosworthy, Ian Martin, Pat Handley and Michael Larkin stepped down as directors of Babcock’s holding company, Babcock & Brown Limited. However, all but Larkin remain as directors of Babcock & Brown International Pty Limited (BBIPL) – the main operating entity of Babcock & Brown Limited.

Nosworthy, Martin and Handley were each independent directors; Larkin has served as the firm’s chief executive officer since August 2008, when he replaced Phil Green in that position.

In November 2008, non-executive directors Joe Roby and Dieter Rampl resigned their positions as directors on the board of Babcock & Brown Limited, becoming the sixth and seventh directors to resign since the firm announced a strategic review of its business lines in June.

The strategic review was aimed at restructuring Babcock’s A$3.2 billion (€1.8 billion; $2.4 billion) debt load and enabling it to survive as a slimmer operation more focused on the core business of infrastructure principal and advisory.

In March, Babcock & Brown Limited entered into voluntary administration following a subordinated noteholder vote in New Zealand against a restructuring proposal that would have recovered them NZ$.001 per note. Since their subordinated claim did not extend to the main operating entity, Babcock maintains that BBIPL is not affected by the administration.

In interviews with Australian press, Nosworthy said the board and management of Babcock were “absolutely devastated” about the company’s fate and said her conscience was clear about the actions the board took prior to the firm’s demise.