Billionaire saved Australian Agriculture Co from first strike

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Plank roll

It’s a pretty sad day when the chairman of the Business Council of Australia, former boss of Origin Grant the king, cannot find a decent seat on the board.

Donald McGauchie chats and shakes hands with LendLease President David Crawford backstage at the Couta Boat Classic 2016 in Melbourne.Credit:Josh robenstone

Even its CEO, Jennifer westacott, got a director position at Wesfarmers.

Hopefully the investor revolt at BHP, which saw King resign just six months after his arrival, is not a sign of things to come at the BCA.

Not so Weiss

Is it time for the corporate raider, Ariadne’s Gary weiss, to cancel the big raid on Ardent Leisure?

The big day is finally approaching when Ardent investors can vote on the two resolutions that the Weiss cabal wants to propose to other investors as part of its campaign to shake up its objective: to appoint Weiss to the board of directors, with the American candidate. Carl Bradford.

The other resolutions, including the removal of the current directors of Ardent, have been withdrawn, but the proxy advisers show no support for the remaining resolutions until the September 4 meeting that will finally end this misery.

ISS notes that Ardent has now generated a five-year total shareholder return of 104.5%, compared to an ASX return of 37.7% over the same period.

“A vote against all resolutions is warranted because dissenting security holders have not sufficiently demonstrated that the change is greater than the current board agenda.”

The Australian Shareholders Association also recommended a vote against the two resolutions.

Dean Paatsch‘s Ownership Matters was a bit more accommodating, conceding that the combined involvement of rebel investors deserved at least a seat on the board – but he then recommended that Bradford be named for his senior credentials, not Weiss.

“If his union’s direct involvement increased significantly, there is a strong case for his addition in the future,” said Ownership Matters.


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