‘Waste of time’: Chairmen lock horns in Hydroponics battle
The battle for the Chairman’s spot at The Hydroponics Company continues, with current chair Ian Mutton firing off a lengthy letter in opposition to his predecessor Alan Beasley.
On Monday Mr Beasley wrote to shareholders seeking 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 said.
On Thursday current chair Ian Mutton spelled out the circumstances that led to his appointment in October — and why founding chairman Alan Beasley should not be reinstated.
The concerns and comments in Mr Beasley’s notice of meeting had “no grounding or basis in truth”, Mr Mutton said in a letter of response to shareholders.
“Whilst Mr Beasley, as a director of THC, has the right to call for the EGM, he has done so without any consultation of his fellow Board members and has, in acting in such unilateral and unexplained manner, directly caused the Board of THC to waste an enormous amount of time and incur unnecessary expense,” he wrote.
Mr Mutton pointed out that Mr Beasley had overseen the appointment of the current board, many of whom he now wanted to get rid of.
“The majority of incumbent directors find it — to say the least — inexplicable that within 12 months of their respective appointments as a director, Mr Beasley is now seeking to replace the same directors that he was largely responsible for being appointed.”
In his notice of the extraordinary general meeting, Mr Beasley raised concerns of corporate governance, voicing his intention to review all material contracts and the company’s governance and approach.
Similar allegations that the current chair said were key to his own appointment.
“THC was lacking in direction and prejudiced by inaction, which was manifested in its share price performance between IPO and my appointment,” Mr Mutton wrote.
“The Board had all become increasingly frustrated by the lack of cohesion within the Board and the absence of a strategic direction under Mr Beasley.”
As a result of the dispute, The company’s AGM has been pushed back to March 28 — two weeks after the proposed EGM to be convened by Mr Beasley.
The shares were trading at 76c on Wednesday.