DataCash misses the point

Times City diarist Martin Waller asks “Is this the most spectacularly incompetent annual meeting ever?” referring to DataCash plc’s 10th June AGM which sought authorities for share issues and dis-application of pre-emption rights significantly outside the best practice guidelines.

Martin tells us that “The company was forced to issue a shamefaced note yesterday admitting that shareholders had allowed it to issue half a million quid in shares, when it had meant to ask for only £50,000. Meanwhile, they had allowed it to buy 46 million shares, while it had meant to ask for 4.6 million.  Not one investor noticed,”

Well, that’s not strictly true, Martin. Manifest clearly flagged the breach of best practice in its report , unfortunately, the company has, so far, declined to reveal the actual level of votes on each resolution, merely that they had passed on a show of hands. So, until we see a detailed breakdown of the votes in line with the usual standards, all we can really say is that “some” shareholders may not have noticed.

Mistakes happen, it’s human nature, but Manifest has strong reservations about companies which try to combine the roll of company secretary and finance director into one. AGM resolutions are just one example of where two heads are definitely better than one.

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