|Top 200 Rich List (2020)||No. of Dark Companies: |
|Political Donations since FY 1998-99|
|Rank: 65||Pratt International Pty. Ltd||Labor Party: $10,000|
|Wealth: $1.49b||Thorney Capital Pty. Ltd||Coalition: $18,000|
|Wealth (2019): $1.56b||Thorney Holdings Proprietary Limited||Independent: $0|
|YoY wealth change: -4.7%||Thorney Pty. Limited||Total: $28,000|
Alex Waislitz is known for his investment savvy and position as Vice President of the Collingwood Football Club. The former brother in law of Anthony Pratt, Waislitz has extensive business ties to the Pratt family and is affiliated with four Dark Companies.
In July 2019, Waislitz invested a combined $57.5 million between his publicly listed Thorney Opportunities and his privately owned Thorney Group for a 50% stake in Australian Community Media (ACM). Saving costs, ACM has recently shut down several of its newspapers permanently as the COVID-19 pandemic dried up revenue sources of an already struggling industry.
Waislitz’s ASX listed Thorney Opportunities Ltd reported an annual loss of $46 million in late 2020. This was due in part to the poor performance of ACM as Thorney Opportunities wrote down their shareholding in ACM to 15% from their original 25%.
Although Waislitz has four Dark Companies, we can see the financial records for one of his companies, Thorney Investment Group Pty Ltd. Tax information for Thorney Investment Group, is not available for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years. However, available tax data shows that Thorney Investment group made $938.2 million of income in total over the 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2017-18 financial years. Despite having a combined taxable income of $95.6 million over this period, Thorney Investments paid zero dollars in corporate income tax.
In the 2018-19 financial year, Thorney Investment Group made $301.6 million of income with a taxable income of $22.5 million. They paid $510,507 in tax last year, which equates to an effective tax rate of 2.3%, a pittance compared to the headline corporate tax rate of 30%.
Despite the paltry tax contribution, the Waislitz business empire is rewarded with the cosy grandfathering exemption not enjoyed by other Australians.