Each year ASX listed companies will host an annual general meeting (or AGM) to keep shareholders informed of corporate activities and to allow shareholders to vote on certain aspects of the company. It is also an opportunity for investors to ask questions of the board and management team, and for the board and management to assuage investors’ concerns.
However, sometimes things go awry. Sometimes no amount of soothing words can calm an investor who has taken the opportunity of the AGM to register his displeasure with the way the company is operating.
That is what happened at the recent AGM for Australian Mines Limited (AUZ.ASX), probably the wildest AGM for an ASX listed company in recent memory.
Recent poor share price performance from the company has led to some animosity between the shareholders and management and this spiral led dangerously out of control come question time.
Some shareholders have leveled unsubstantiated accusations of insider trading and misuse of confidential information. However, this was relatively tame in comparison to the behaviour of one attending shareholder.
No sooner had AUZ Managing Director Benjamin Bell finished informing shareholders that his family had been receiving death threats (in relation to his stewardship at AUZ) when a “Jason” stood up and shouted that Mr Bell was a “dead man walking” before striding out.
On top of plenty of reasons for investors to be unhappy with how the share price has performed over the past eighteen months, there were also plenty of other issues raised by the shareholders, with varying degrees of apparent relevancy. These include the fact that the company’s website has been down for a while now and the fact that Mr Bell volunteers one day a week for the local council.
Some of the attending shareholders also stated their belief that the AGM was conducted unprofessionally and many of them seem to have lost faith in the company’s board and management.
Australian Mines Limited (AUZ) is a battery metals exploration company. AUZ focuses on exploration and development activities in Australia, with their flagship project being the Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project. Sconi is one of very few large ore bodies of its type in Australia.