Press Release

Macquarie's response to judgement in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory

Sydney, 16 February 2009

Macquarie Group Limited (Macquarie) notes the judgement in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory today in relation to the matter of Macquarie Bank Limited and Others versus Nationwide News Pty Limited (News Limited).

The matter relates to an article headlined “The Mine Shaft” published on 5 March 2005 in The Australian which dealt with Macquarie’s role as banker to Allstate Explorations NL.

While the judgement was critical of the article and described it as emotive and sensational, it found that it was not defamatory under Australian law.

Macquarie notes that the judgement finds no impropriety on the part of Macquarie or its executives as alleged by The Australian. This, together with the excerpts reproduced below, validates Macquarie’s original concern about the article and Macquarie’s actions to protect its reputation.

Macquarie notes that the Judge commented: “There is, in my view, no justification for the tone of the article or what can only be described as “cheap shots” that the article takes at Macquarie’s expense.”

“Having regard to what has been now put before me as to the circumstances upon which the article is based, I can only express my disappointment at the approach taken by the authors of the article published in a newspaper that I thought prided itself on accurate and responsible reporting.”

In his judgement, His Honour also stated:

  • “Further, there is, in my view, little to commend the content. It is written in a style that uses emotive and sensational epithets to suggest rather than state a point. It archly leaves the reader to speculate just what that point might be.”
  • “The precise nature of these imputations is elusive because of the way the article skips from innuendo to innuendo without implicitly stating the conclusion that the reader might draw. …. I do think that the article casts a heavy shadow of suspicion on Macquarie as to its dealings in this regard but it is difficult to conclude what is the actual impropriety imputed by the article or what the actual impropriety would be.
  • “The gravamen of the defendants’ case on this aspect really came down to seeking to establish that Macquarie had been a party to not properly providing material to the creditors’ meeting of 19 March 2002 … I do not consider the defendant made out this case.”
  • “The defendants’ difficulty in seeking to make a case for a sinister plot on Macquarie’s behalf to manipulate the creditors to vote for the proposal is that the objective facts do not support that proposition.”


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