Member log in

Hutson, Reeves seek special meeting to vote on Janes ousting from Abano

Abano Healthcare shareholders Peter Hutson and James Reeves invoked their rights under the Companies Act to call for an extraordinary general meeting next Monday to consider a resolution to dump Trevor Janes as chairman and freshen the rest of the board.

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.

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 requires injection of fresh leadership talent proven in a commercial setting and rich in operational experience," Hutson and Reeves say in an emailed letter to the board. "This starts with the chairmanship of Abano followed by an orderly transition to a skills-based Abano board in line with the needs of the business."

Both Abano and the hostile shareholders have furnished valuations to support their offers and counter-offers. And they have exchanged pointed jabs through a thwarted takeover attempt when they teamed up with Archer Capital. That continued today with Hutson and Reeves signing off their letter by saying they expect Janes will be transparent about his career history including directorship of failed finance company Capital + Merchant.

Healthcare Industry, Reeves's Steamboat Capital and Archer were rebuffed in an attempted takeover of the company and in turn rejected a $12.9 million cash offer from Abano to buy out the 50 percent of Bay International that Hutson owns.

Abano shares fell 0.5 percent to $6.50 today, and have gained 2.5 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

Comments and questions
1

It is difficult to work out whether the "hold-on-for-dear-life" strategy is a self-preservation strategy of an under performing Board or a strategy for the benefit of the company itself. It is also difficult to understand why shareholders holding close to 20% of this company would take such drastic action if there wasn't some substance to their concerns. A public airing of respective trackrecords may well be the only practical course at this stage but one does wonder if the use of company money to protect incumbent under performing professional directors with underwhelming trackrecords ultimately benefits anyone - after all Hutson and co as 20% shareholders are paying for 100% of their own actions and ironically 20% of the Board's. They must care deeply about their cause.