Blue Star appoints replacement MD

Blue Star group has appointed Phillip Bower as managing director to replace Chris Mitchell who departed on November 11.

Tuesday, November 22nd 2011, 4:51PM

by Jenny Ruth

Bower was previously managing director of Asia Pacific-based private equity firm Unitas Capital.

Blue Star is 93.7%-owned by Australian private equity firm CHAMP.

Blue Star chairman Nick Greiner says Bower is "an astute businessman who has been tested across a range of industries and challenging commercial situations. He has proven operational skills and a record of achieving results. The board looks forward to working with Phillip as he executes the strategy recently presented to bondholders."

However, the Blue Star press release was misleading as to Bower's employment history. "Mr Bower has previously performed the role of managing director at three substantial organisations: Goodman Fielder, MCK Group (a diversified industrial products manufacturer) and most recently Unitas Capital."

Further enquiry established Bower headed three Goodman Fielder divisions between 1995 and 1998, including the Meadow Lea operations, milling and baking and business development, but was never managing director of the group.

Mitchell's resignation had been a further blow to the company's bondholders coming just over a month after they voted for a controversial restructuring which Mitchell had been supposed to implement. The restructuring saw them relinquish significant rights and exchange the $137.3 million in principal and interest they were owed for a package with a net present value of $44 million with no certainty even that return can be achieved.

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