Rebel Abano shareholders take legal action

TIM HUNTER AND RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 16:04 30/05/2014
ABA 6.700 -0.05 -0.74%
ABA

Click for a detailed chart

Relevant offers

Industries

Hamilton retailer Forlong's could raise city's vacancy rate Ceres Organics and Northland health board get top marks for green buildings CFO Summit: Better Drinks Company CEO leading since he was six CFO Summit: Sustainability should work into businesses' core values Britain's The Independent newspaper to cease print editions Uncertainty surrounds Southland's Prime Range Meats as workers are sent home Buy this beach: What you need to know Backpackers in Marlborough not paid for vineyard work Inland Revenue close to revealing job cuts as BT programme proceeds apace BNZ seeks mortgagee sale of Abel Tasman beach owner's $1.6m Wellington home

Shares in Abano Healthcare have slipped 4 per cent after rebel shareholders Peter Hutson and James Reeves filed High Court proceedings.

The pair, who together own 18.5 per cent of Abano, are trying to delay a vote on the future of chairman Trevor Janes.

On May 6 they requisitioned a special meeting to vote on a resolution to remove him as a director.

Abano published a notice of meeting on Friday last week, three weeks before the meeting date of June 13 and within the legally required time frame.

The Abano board recommended shareholders vote against the resolution, and gave Janes its unanimous support.

Hutson and Reeves are now seeking a new meeting date "not earlier than three weeks and not more than four weeks from 13 June".

In a statement, they said they had applied to the High Court seeking an order to postpone the special meeting.

"[We] previously wrote to Abano requesting a date in July," Reeves said.

"Abano has ignored our request and set an unrealistic special meeting date."

Abano was providing shareholders with misleading information and had "butchered the meeting process by manipulating the timetable," he said.

Hutson said the application for a court order was aimed at ensuring shareholders had full information before casting a vote.

The pair have spoken to institutional investors, but also want to be given enough time to air their concerns with smaller retail shareholders.

Abano shares dropped 4 per cent to $6.50 in afternoon trading, valuing the group at $133 million.

Managing director Alan Clarke said he had only just received notice of the court action, and the board needed to digest it before commenting.

"We probably also need to take legal advice," he said.

Abano's main business is in dentistry, owning the Lumino chain in New Zealand and Dental Partners in Australia.

Hutson and Reeves were involved in a failed takeover of Abano last year by private equity firm Archer Capital. They then argued Abano's management of the dental business was not delivering value for shareholders.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content