Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Abano dissidents admit defeat in stoush, vow to fight on

Abano dissidents admit defeat in board stoush, vow to fight on

By Pattrick Smellie

June 13 (BusinessDesk) – Dissident shareholders seeking removal of Abano Healthcare chairman Trevor Janes admitted likely defeat at the special meeting to vote on the issue in Auckland today, amid accusations of predatory behaviour from other shareholders.

The meeting took 90 minutes to get to the vote on the single item on the agenda: a motion from founder Abano director Peter Hutson and fellow shareholder James Reeves to remove Janes.

Abano forced Hutson’s resignation in the course of a failed takeover bid last year by Archer Capital, and had feared retail shareholders might side with Hutson and Reeves, who control close to 20 percent of the company.


More than 82.5 percent of Abano’s shares were voted at the meeting, and 76.6 percent were against the resolution of Hutson and Reeves to remove Janes as a director. Excluding shareholdings associated with the pair, the resolution garnered just 0.79 support, the company said.

“It appears from the votes cast today that we are not going to have justice, certainly not this week,” said Reeves in his address to shareholders outlining why Hutson and he believe Abano is failing to execute its strategy to grow a dental business of scale in Australia.

“What you can rely on is that we will remain as shareholders, will continue to be vigilant and to monitor the performance of the company and will be holding the board to account in respect of their governance practices.”

The chairman of the New Zealand Shareholders Association, John Hawkins, holding proxies for 5 percent of the Abano register, called on Hutson and Reeves to mount a Takeovers Code-compliant takeover bid for Abano or sell their shares.

“Continuing disruption will only result in loss to all shareholders”, who had found Hutson’s and Reeves’s arguments “totally underwhelming,” said Hawkins to applause from the 90 or so shareholders who attended the meeting in person.

Another shareholder described Hutson and Reeves as “two predators of the worst kind” who were seeking to cheat shareholders out of value. “Shame on you,” he said to the pair, who sat stoney-faced in the front of the meeting.

Hutson faced questioning on the structure of the Archer bid, which would have seen him and Reeves acquiring Abano’s 50 percent share in a jointly owned audiology business for “a nominal sum”, and declined to say what that sum would have been had the bid succeeded.

Doyens of the institutional investor community also weighed in on the Abano board’s side.

Milford Asset Management principal Brian Gaynor said he found Hutson’s criticisms of Abano’s Australian growth strategy “strange” when they mirrored the strategies pursued when Hutson was growing the business in New Zealand.

Fisher Funds chief investment officer Mark Brighouse, accompanied by the firm’s principal, Carmel Fisher, was scathing of Hutson’s and Reeves’s attempts to dress up their response to an unsuccessful takeover bid as shareholder activism.

While the meeting had been a “delightful” opportunity for the company and its shareholders to catch up, “I think it’s time we all got back to work,” he said, also to applause.

The shares last traded unchanged at $6.90.


(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Insurers Up For More Payouts: Chch Property Investor Wins Policy Appeal In Supreme Court

Ridgecrest NZ, a property investor, has won an appeal in the Supreme Court over insurance cover provided by IAG New Zealand for a Christchurch building damaged in four successive earthquakes. More>>

ALSO:

Other Cases:

Royal Society: Review Finds Community Water Fluoridation Safe And Effective

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Croxley Calls Time On NZ Production In Face Of Cheap Imports

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications. More>>

ALSO:

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news