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By Tom Winnifrith, The Sheriff of AIM | Friday 6 July 2018
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.
After recent revelations here the position of Angus Energy (ANGS) founder and chairman Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorious was untenable and today he has “been resigned” from the board with immediate effect. But Tidswell will remain as a non- Board Operations Director, responsible for progressing all the Company's oil & gas operations while some oafish NED becomes chairman, in name at least. That is what the company says…
The reality is that Tidswell founded this company and ran every aspect of it and so he will still be calling the shots as a shadow director. Indeed the company suggests that he may be the comeback kid:
Per the Company RNS of 3 July 18, the Board will continue its investigation into the potential violation of any relevant regulations in addition to the Company's Share Dealing Code which was not complied with in this case. Pending the results of this investigation, if completely exonerated, Angus Energy will consider re-appointing Mr. Tidswell-Pretorius to the Board as an Executive Director. The Company will update the market in due course.
For Fucks sake.
On 29 June Angus announced that Tidswell had on 19 June ( ie right in the closed period when no share trading is allowed) transferred his entire holding to another party but it stated that: “Mr Tidswell-Pretorius has confirmed to the Board that this TR-1 has arisen from a change by him of the Broker through which the majority of his Shares in Angus Energy are held and that there has been no change in his beneficial interest in the Company.”
Well not to put to fine a point on it Tidswell lied to the board and to the Nomad and thus to the market. He transferred his shares as part of a deal he was contemplating which would have allowed him to borrow money against those shares and, if they fell, just to walk away. This is not a change of broker.
We have subsequently discovered that the counterparty in fact sold 10.8 million of Tidswell’s 39 million shares without giving him the cash and was, as I exposed yesterday, run by a convicted fraudster and all round hood. While that suggests extraordinary naivete on the part of Tidswell his crime here is not doing a deal with a conman but lying to the board, the Nomad and AIM about the fact that such a deal existed at all. This is just cut and dried. How long does an investigation take?
Will Tidswell take a pay cut having left the board? Why isn’t Angus telling us that? Why should investors tolerate someone who has lied to them retaining any job at all? In what way is he not a shadow director?
Angus tries to spin this by deflecting attention onto the hoods at America 2030 saying that Tidswell is taking legal advice about getting his shares back and good luck to him but that he did an EFH style deal with hoods who legged him over is not the point. What matters is the transfer of shares in a closed period and lying to the board, the Nomad and the market about the nature of that transfer. I am sorry to say it as I like Tidswell but that should be a hanging offence.
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