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Abano mulls rebel shareholder request for meeting, affirms support for Janes

Abano Healthcare Group [NZX: ABA] is mulling the extraordinary general meeting request from rebel shareholders Peter Hutson and James Reeves who want to dump Trevor Janes as chairman and refresh the board.

In acknowledging the requisitioning of a special meeting by Hutson and Reeves, who together hold 19 percent of the company, the healthcare investor's board reiterated its support for Janes.

"The Abano board, which remains unanimous in its support for Mr Janes as chairman and in its support of the company's strategic direction, will now consider the requisition and update shareholders in due course," the company said in a statement.

The meeting would be preliminary to agree to an actual vote at another EGM on May 30 on whether to remove Janes as a director, giving Hutson's investment vehicle Healthcare Industry time to put its case in a statement to shareholders.

An EGM can be called at the request of 5 percent of a company's shareholders, which the pair's shareholdings easily exceed. They have nominated May 27 for the initial meeting.

The two investors say Abano's dental clinics are underperforming, providing an investment return of 3-4 percent a year since 2010 - less than banks are offering on deposit - and with more risk.

Abano shares were $6.50 before trading opened this morning, and have gained 2 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)