Court hears Palmer was “perfectly upfront” over Yabulu

The NSW Supreme Court heard yesterday that Clive Palmer had been “perfectly upfront” in his dealings with Gladstone Pacific Nickel over the Yabulu refinery.

Yesterday reports by Farifax Media said Palmer may be forced to share the profits from the refinery after he "hijacked" a deal between its former owner BHP Billiton and GPN.

Palmer was a director at GPN in June 2009 when the company was negotiating with BHP for the Yabulu refinery.

After negotiations between the two parties collapsed he bought the project himself.

Earlier in the week the court heard allegations Palmer had “hijacked” the deal, and used his GPN board position “to start negotiating on his own behalf”.

But yesterday GPN’s barrister John Sheahan, SC, said Palmer did not make an offer for Yabulu until BHP had terminated its negotiations with GPN.

The court head that GPN was aware of Palmer’s interest in buying the refinery after the company had failed in its talks with BHP.

Aggrieved GPN shareholder Robert Pearce wants to sue Palmer on the count he breached his duties as a GPN director.

But according to The Sydney Morning Herald GPN itself is opposing Pearce’s application.

Yesterday Sheahan said when Palmer bought Yabulu on July 3 GPN “had no capacity to acquire that property, no interest in acquiring the property and it wanted Mr Palmer to acquire the property so that it could have some chance of obtaining collateral benefits.”

Justice Michael Ball is currently receiving further submissions to the case before ruling on whether it shall proceed.

Image: The Age — Glen Hunt

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