In the green corner… Battle of the Chairmen heats up for The Hydroponics Company
Health & Biotech
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The current Chairman of The Hydroponics Company has hit back at the former Chairman for making another grab at the top job.
Lawyer Ian Mutton was appointed to the role in October, replacing founding chairman of the medical cannabis play (ASX:THC), Alan Beasley.
Earlier this week Mr Beasley announced his intention to call an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in an effort to spill the board and resume leadership.
“I am concerned with THC’s governance and approach under the majority of the current board,” Mr Beasley told shareholders in formal notice sent out on Monday night.
“It is my duty to ensure that THC, as a listed company, adheres to the highest level of corporate governance.
“I intend to ensure that the company consistently operates on the highest level of transparency, communication, fiscal discipline and team approach between all levels of the company and in its market dealings.”
Current chairman Mr Mutton hit back in an announcement to shareholders on Tuesday afternoon.
“Your board supported my appointment as Chairman (in place of Mr Beasley) to provide clarity and direction in an evolving marketplace and to take the necessary decisions required to drive the company,” Mr Mutton wrote.
“Since then, the company has become recognised as a serious leader in the Medicinal Cannabis sector in Australia.”
The shares closed at 71c on Tuesday — up 286 per cent since Mr Mutton’s appointment and following a series of deals in Canada and Australia. (The ASX medical cannabis sector has enjoyed steep gains across the board during the same period).
In addition to his reinstatement as chairman, Mr Beasley is seeking roll the remaining members of the board — with the exception of Stephen Xu — and appoint his associates Lou Cattelan and Gary Radcliff.
If he gets his way, Mr Beasley said he would conduct a review of all material contracts and investigate any related party relationships as well as to ensure an appropriate level of board independence and reintroduce strict fiscal discipline.
Mr Beasley’s proposed meeting is scheduled for March 15 — the same day or very shortly after an opposing EGM.
“A compete rebuttal of the various allegations and representations made in the EGM Notice will be published in the next few days”, Mr Mutton said.
Mr Beasley was the face of the company in its early days; it listed on April 20 last year (the date relates to 420 — a code for smoking marijuana).
Mr Beasley started looking at the medicinal cannabis sector after his wife had a brain seizure.