Qube set for regular company structure

Logistics firm baulks at independence in directors and chairman after filing bumper annual profit rise

August 22, 2011

Qube Logistics will soon function more like a normal listed company following a shareholder vote in favour of the move late last week.

However, in a statement outlining its compliance with stock exchange corporate governance principles and recommendations, the company highlighted divergences.

While either already compliant or intending to become compliant with executive relationships with the board and disclosure and reporting guidelines, Qube did not comply regarding the independence of directors or the chairman.

This, it says, is "appropriate", due to chairman and each of the directors having "extensive knowledge . . . regarding the company and its business divisions and substantial experience and recognition in the logistics industry generally".

For the chairman, "this knowledge and expertise outweighs the benefits of having and independent chairman".

This is why an independent audit committee would not be formed, though it would have an audit committee of three "financially literate" members working to a "written charter".

"Regular reviews will occur of the independence safeguards ut in place by the external auditor," Qube says.

Otherwise, the company would comply with other recommendations involving disclosure, shareholder rights, risk and remuneration.

The new Qube's chairman will be industry stalwart Chris Corrigan.

The shareholder vote will see Qube corporatised and management become part of the company structure, rather than be conducted by finance house Kaplan Funds Management (KFM).

In return, KFM will receive $32 million in new Qube shares.

The developments came as the port logistics and landside transport firm reported a 152 percent rise in annual net profits to $61.8 million.

The company now has a market capitalisation of more than $855 million, it says.

Earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation in its two business segments was very health, rising 37.1 percent to $37.3 million for Auto, Bulk and General Stevedoring and 47.6 percent for Landside Logistics to $39.7 million.

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