December 18, 2019 / 1:31 AM / a month ago

Famed Australian corporate raider charged with child pornography offences: media

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian police have charged former corporate raider Sir Ron Brierley with child pornography offences, Australian media reported on Wednesday.

Brierley - who shot to fame by launching takeover bids for Australian corporate giants such as Carlton & United Breweries, AGL Energy and lottery operator Tatts - was arrested at Sydney Airport on Tuesday, the Australian Broadcasting Corp and other media reported.

NSW Police released a statement saying an 82-year-old man from Point Piper, the affluent harborside Sydney suburb where Brierley lives, had been arrested at 6.30 a.m. local time.

He was taken to a nearby police station and charged with six counts of possessing child abuse material, NSW Police said.

The man has been granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at a Sydney court on Feb 10, 2020.

A spokeswoman for NSW police declined to confirm the identity of the man charged.

Brierley could not be immediately reached for comment.

He began his corporate career in 1961, starting his own investment company in his native New Zealand. By the 1980s, his company was the largest company in New Zealand by market capitalization, before he turned his attention on Australia.

Famed for his aggressive shareholder activism, Brierley regularly publicly rebuked what he deemed underperforming directors.

Brierley ended his corporate career in June when he resigned as chairman of Mercantile Investments, though he remains a director.

The company declined to comment.

Reporting by Colin Packham. Editing by Lincoln Feast.

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