Archive, Industry News

McAleese administrator seeks to hold new EGM

Recriminations from both sides increasingly played out in public


McGrathNicol administrator Keith Crawford is searching for a new date for the McAleese extraordinary general meeting (EGM) as the atmosphere surrounding the downed firm gets increasingly fractious.

Having lost directors Wayne Kent and Kerry Gleeson yesterday on the appointment of McGrathNicol as voluntary administrators, Crawford chaired the meeting to consider a shareholder pitch to spill the board.

This had been proposed by the Gilberto Maggiolo-led Havenfresh shareholder entity and would see Harold Price and Maurice Smith join Maggiolo on the board.

In the event, the meeting was adjourned, as Crawford “considered that the appointment of administrators was material information for members and members would not have had sufficient information to determine how to vote at the meeting”, McAleese tells the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

The administrators intend to hold the meeting “as soon as the outcome of the voluntary administration process is clearer”.

During the administration, the administrators exercise all of the powers of the existing directors, whose powers are suspended.

The administrators note that the original notice of the meeting did not contemplate that administrators would be appointed to the company.

A supplementary notice will be issued that will specify a new time and date for submissions of proxies.

In the midst of the turmoil, the company’s shares have risen over the past week, from 1.5 cents each to 2.5 cents, leaving the market puzzled.

Meanwhile, public comment from rival shareholders – MD Mark Rowsthorn on one side and opposing shareholding original owners and company-linked property holders for whom Maggiolo has the public profile on the other – have taken each other to task over the company’s predicament.

The immediate point of contention is property rentals, with the former charging the latter with scuppering the least-worse option by refusing to negotiate on a lower rate and the latter denying that and noting the opaque nature of the management-led rescue plan made it unclear who negotiations should be conducted with.

There appears to be deep mistrust from those opposed to the rescue deal about how Rowsthorn’s position would have emerged, given he negotiated it with financier and major shareholder SC Lowy.

It would seem that without a deal with those opposed, SC Lowy, as the major secured creditor, and Rowsthorn, with whom it has been dealing, would have the whip hand in any sell-off of assets or businesses.

The administrators flagged yesterday that they would take a detailed look at all parts of McAleese.

Previous ArticleNext Article
Send this to a friend