‘Take no action’, BPS chairman tells investors amid shareholder revolt
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BPS technology, best known for its Bartercard business trading system, has hit back at disgruntled shareholders calling for a boardroom spill.
In a letter to shareholders sent on Friday, BPS chairman Murray d’Almeida called out two activist shareholders, Alceon Liquid Strategies and LHC Capital partners – who together own 8.8 percent of the business – after they called a meeting to sack the entire board.
“TAKE NO ACTION in relation to the recent Notice of Meeting sent by self-serving activist shareholders, Alceon and LHC,” Mr d’Almeida told shareholders — capital letters and all.
“It is clear from the commentary provided in their Notice of Meeting that Alceon and LHC either do not understand our business and the accounting conventions that apply to technology companies or they are wilfully misrepresenting the facts to serve their own ends.
“We are certainly not averse to change. However, we believe any change should be managed in an orderly and transparent fashion in the interests of all shareholders and not at the behest of one particular group of self-serving activists.”
The stoush comes as shares in Gold Coast-based BPS (ASX:BPS) have fallen as low as 69c compared to a 94c issue price in August last year when it raised $30 million to buy retail voucher service Entertainment Book.
Shares were trading at 77.5c on Friday afternoon.
Last week BPS moved to appease shareholders, announcing chief executive Trevor Dietz would step down in 2018 and up to two independent directors would be appointed.
A global search was underway that would even consider members of the opposite sex.
“We have been meeting with potential board candidates, including female candidates, over the past month,” the company told shareholders.
The company’s AGM has been called for November 27.
While the company’s purchase of the Entertainment Book contributed $65.8 million in revenue last financial year, the Bartercard business succumbed to a $4.6 million fall in revenue.
“We acknowledge that the performance of Bartercard has been disappointing but we have not been sitting on our hands,” the chairman said.
“Since early last year we have been implementing a number of strategies designed to both turnaround its performance and also broaden the scope of our payments platform into the B2C market, of which the highly successful Entertainment acquisition was a key element.”
The company had $15 million in the bank at the end of June.