Digital researcher PureProfile has come out swinging as rebel shareholders attempt to topple its chairman.

Earlier this week, 5 per cent shareholder Oceania Capital (ASX:OCP) called a meeting to remove PureProfile (ASX:PPL) chairman Andrew Edwards and appoint Marco Ulvert — the former boss of ad-tech play Cohort which PPL bouht in 2016 for $18 million plus earn-out.

Together with current chief Nic Jones, Mr Edwards told investors it was not his leadership but rather the poor performance of the Cohort acquisition that was at fault.

“While the board and senior management accept responsibility for the acquisition itself, Pureprofile’s rights against the vendors in relation to information they provided to Pureprofile to induce it to transact and their conduct while managing the Cohort business during the earn-out period are strictly reserved,” they said in an ASX announcement on Friday.

Pureprofile’s management says the entity seeking their removal is also in dispute with PureProfile over the calculation and payment of an earn-out payment — over which PureProfile has counter-claimed misleading conduct by the vendors.

Pureprofile shares over the past year (ASX:PPL)
Pureprofile shares over the past year (ASX:PPL)

The company has allegedly withheld payment of $1,363,274.15 to the Cohort vendors, including OCP and MDJU Number 1 Pty Ltd, which is an entity associated with chairman candidate Marcelo Ulvert.

At the acquisition of Cohort in 2016, PureProfile was trading at 54c. On Friday morning it was trading at 13c.

Despite that, management says it is in the best position it has been in since its IPO.

“There is a clear roadmap to profitability with a new and reinvigorated senior management team, revenue momentum and a sustainable cost base,” it said.

“The board of Pureprofile, led by Andrew Edwards as Executive Chairman, has driven the transformation of the leadership team through what has been a difficult period.”