By Tom Winnifrith | Wednesday 15 March 2017
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
The GM of Bowleven (BLVN) took place at 11 AM yesterday. It could not have taken long to count the votes yet the board sat on the result until this morning. Treating shareholders with contempt, for the second time in 48 hours and the zillionth time since taking office,Kevin Hart et al served up a sour and graceless statement as they acknowledged defeat. But it was not a complete victory for the rebels.
By a narrow margin chairman Billy Allan has kept his job. But by a slightly bigger margin (roughly 535 to 47%) Kevin Hart, Kerry Crawford, John Martin, Tim Sullivan and Philip Tracy got the order of the boot with Crown Ocean nominees Christopher Ashworth and Eli Chahin being elected and joining the board with immediate effect. It will be interesting to see how they work with Allan and COO David Clarkson.
The lack of grace shown by the outgoing board ( terms of compensation for loss of office not yet declared) is outstanding. They note:
Excluding the votes cast in respect of the shares held by COC and its nominees (COC Shares), all resolutions proposed at the General Meeting would have been defeated by a significant margin. Voting excluding the COC Shares is set out in Table 2 in the Appendix.
All major institutional shareholders remaining on the register of members of the Company after posting of the Circular voted against all of the resolutions. The only exception to this was a single institutional shareholder that voted in favour of resolution 8, consistent with the PIRC proxy guidance for the General Meeting.
Private investors voted overwhelmingly against the board. Artemis voted against the board. Crown voted against the board. But we regard these votes as inferior to those owned by other institutional investors paid a fortune for looking after other folks' cash who went along with the establishment line trotted out by Guardian reading, Corporate Governance parasites PIRC.
Most institutions back the board in such a tussle however useless and overpaid it is. And Bowleven's board was truly useless and overpaid something that PIRC somehow cannot grasp and in doing so shows it is not fit for purpose. The board fails to accept that all shareholders are equal. In an Orwellian way Hart is trying to make you believe that some shareholders are more equal than others. They are not. that is the way capitalism should work.
That the shares are up on confirmation that Hart et al are out tells you everything you need to know.
Never miss a story.
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