Under-pressure investor Chapmans (ASX:CHP) has finally called it: it’s delisting — sometime.

The company had flagged a move to the smaller National Stock Exchange in January — or even a move to Canada — but only mentioned “preliminary” talks with the former on Friday.

Chapmans said its reasons for leaving are:

  • It can’t afford or justify the listing and compliance fees.
  • It blamed the ASX’s rules for creating delays in doing business, specifically “[the company] is constantly frustrated by the regulatory road blocks contained in the ASX Listing Rules or by the ASX interpretation of those rules”.
  • It believes the value of the shares doesn’t reflect the possible future value of its investments.

The company has been beset by gossip, badly performing investments and a severe money problem for over a year.

Two directors were at the centre of ASX queries into Capital Mining’s finances in 2017 — a company that went into administration in May last year and booted from the bourse in December.

A string of its investments have failed: from a foray into fantasy sports to the collapse of an investee called 20Four Media. It’s interest in Canadian crypto miner GPU One was cut in half after the company converted debt to equity, and an investment in crypto play Securrency quickly went awry when they decided not to IPO.

And then media reports began surfacing that then-director Anthony Dunlop had quietly removed himself and family to Malaysia — followed by his resignation.

A plethora of ASX queries followed at the end of the year, about both Capital Mining and the credentials of Chapmans’ new directors.

The final straw came when the market operator asked Chapmans how it planned to survive with very little money in the bank.

The answer came today as they moved to dump the binding restrictions of the regulated public world for the freer life of privateering.