Shareholder bids to oust Spicers CFO

Spicers shareholder Coastal Capital is aiming to oust chief financial officer Wayne Johnston and replace him with its own two managing partners.

Spicers is holding an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on September 6 in which shareholders are voting on replacements for two retiring board members.

The resolution to remove Wayne Johnston was put forward by Todd Plutksy of Coastal Capital International, a USA based shareholder which holds more than five per cent of Spicers.

The outgoing non-executive directors and board members, Robert Kaye, chairman and Mike Barker do not support the resolution, recommending shareholders vote against it.

David Martin, CEO, Spicers says, “The resolution for Johnston’s removal is relating to how the shareholder believes the business should move forward, wanting a completely new board. I would not say there is any animosity or bad blood between the two.

“The two non-executive board members have signalled that they wish to retire, and the purpose of the EGM is to vote on the board. While Spicers has three board members, its constitution allows for up to 10.”

Spicers appears to have resolved its long running dispute with its hybrid shareholders taking 68.3 per cent of the company. Coastal Capital had 19 per cent of the hybrid shares.

The outgoing Spicers board members have recommended Malcolm McComas and David Stillman to take up positions on the Board, and says the two candidates will make a valuable contribution to Spicers, with a combined appropriate mixture of skills, backgrounds, knowledge and experience to operate effectively.

The other candidates were nominated by shareholders, and include Gabriel Berger, Nigel Burgess, Guiseppe Coronica, Johnathan Trollip, Guthrie Willamson and Andrew Preece, the former CEO of Spicers.

All will be revealed by the afternoon of September 6, says Martin, as he expects most votes to come in via proxy, with a few shareholders turning up in person to ask questions.

“We have a three-year business plan moving forward, which we believe will be successful.”

Spicers is no stranger to boardroom battles, with Paperlinx, as it then was, engaged in a long conflict with Andrew Price.

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