2021 is off to a quiet start in terms of Activism
Bassari Resources received a requisition to remove one of its directors and appoint four nominees. A meeting has yet to be called.
At the end of 2020, a shareholder in Oliver’s Real Foods requisitioned a meeting seeking to appoint two nominees to the board. Despite the shareholder’s demands being strongly opposed by the board, the requisition was withdrawn prior to the meeting on 26 November after Oliver’s agreed to appoint one of the two nominees to the board. On 1 December, the requisitioner of the meeting nominated himself for appointment as a director of the Company at the upcoming AGM. This was supported by the board and approved by shareholders at the meeting in January.
2020 ended on a high note for companies, with activists mostly failing to gain enough traction for their resolutions to pass at most of the meeting held.
Arowana Contrarian Value Fund had three resolutions added to its AGM in December looking to remove three directors, all of which failed at the meeting.
Excelsior Capital received two notices last year by the same group of shareholders. At the first meeting in October, the shareholders tried to wind up and liquidate the company. Only days after their failed attempt, they put forward a notice to remove one of the directors from the board. At the EGM in December, shareholders overwhelming voted against the proposal.
Concerned shareholders of Environmental Group put forward 11 resolutions to be voted on by shareholders at an EGM on the 18th of December. They were looking to remove the Managing Director and Chairman and appoint two nominees, as well as commence a share buyback of unmarketable parcels, introduce virtual shareholder briefings of the half and full year results, take immediate steps to form an independent board, introduce a dividend policy with 50% minimum payout, pay a special dividend to utilize franking credits, appoint a qualified investor relations consultant and to investigate the sale of underperforming assets. With over 50% of shares held by the Chair and MD, it was no surprise that all resolutions failed to gain support at the meeting.
In September, Thorn Group received a notice from a group of shareholders requisitioning a meeting to remove three directors and appoint their own nominees. After months of back and forth and getting the Australian Takeovers Panel involved, all resolutions put forward by the activists failed, but only by the slimmest of margins (48%), to gain support of shareholders.
A particularly unusual form of ‘activism’ was on display at Carpentaria Resources as director Paul Cholakos was forced to defend an attempt by fellow director, Peter Graham, to remove him from the board. Cholakos countered by submitting a s249D requisition to have Peter Graham removed, nominating Bryan Granzien to take his place as Chairman. Shareholders chose to back Paul Cholakos and Bryan Granzien with Peter Graham submitting his resignation the day before the meeting in late December.
|BCM International, David Swan and Suda Pty Ltd||Bassari Resources||249F Notice||Remove a director and appoint four nominees. A meeting has yet to be called.||18/01/2021|
|Gelba Pty Ltd||Oliver's||Annual Meeting||Gelba Pty Ltd nominated Martin Green be appointed director at the AGM on 22 Jan.||12/12/2020|
|Gelba Pty Ltd||Oliver's||Activists Win at Meeting||At the company's recommendation, Martin Green gains a seat on Oliver's board.||5 weeks|
|Concerned Shareholders||Thorn Group||Company Wins at Meeting||All resolutions put forward by activists failed to gain traction.||18 weeks|
|Concerned Shareholders||Carpentaria Resources||Activists Loses at Meeting||Shareholders vote to remove the Chairman, Peter Graham, who resigns the day before the meeting.||5 weeks|
|Concerned Shareholders||Carpentaria Resources||Activists Win at Meeting||Shareholders vote to keep Paul Cholakos on the board and appoint a second independent director.||5 weeks|
|Concerned Shareholders||Environmental Group||Company Wins at Meeting||Shareholders voted against all 11 resolutions.||9 weeks|
|Concerned Shareholders||Excelsior Capital||Company Wins at Meeting||The resolution to remove director Danny Herceg was not carried at the December EGM.||9 weeks|
|Staude Capital and Mirabella Financial Services||Arowana Contrarian Value Fund||Company Wins at Meeting||The board remains unchanged as shareholders fail to gain traction in changing up the board at the AGM.||4 weeks|
Three Months Activity
|New Activist Campaigns||3||1||1|
|Activists Win at Meeting||1||1||1|
|Company Wins at Meeting||1||4||1|
|Settled before meeting / Requisition withdrawn||2||0||0|