$30m fight for control of 1-Page

27/03/2017 - 15:25

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Perth-based director Andrew Chapman is at the centre of an escalating battle between the board and the management team at US-focused tech company 1-Page over control of the business and its $30 million of cash.

$30m fight for control of 1-Page

Perth-based director Andrew Chapman is at the centre of an escalating battle between the board and the management team at US-focused tech company 1-Page over control of the business and its $30 million of cash.

The ASX-listed company revealed today that co-founder and director Joanna Riley wants to oust the other four directors on the board.

Mr Chapman, whose Nedlands-based Merchant Funds Management is a major shareholder, has responded by giving notice that he will seek to remove Ms Riley from the board at a general meeting of shareholders.

Silicon Valley-based 1-Page was one of the early movers in the ASX’s tech listing boom of 2014 and 2015.

It raised more than $70 million from investors, including $50 million at a price of $4.50, but has struggled to commercialise its recruitment software.

Its latest quarterly report, for the three months to the end of January, shows it spent $3.6 million operating the business but generated just $228,000 of revenue.

The company also disclosed today it has been in discussions with a management group, including Ms Riley and new chief executive Peter Kent, to privatise the US operating subsidiary.

That would allow the directors of the ASX-listed entity to pursue new opportunities using its large cash reserves.

However, the management team has withdrawn from the privatisation discussions after a board committee rejected its proposal as inadequate for shareholders.

Mr Chapman, who heads Merchant Group, joined the 1-Page board earlier this year, at the same time as three long-serving directors resigned.

Fellow directors Tod McGrouther, who is based in Sydney, and Michael Shen, who is based in Hong Kong, represent investors in the company.

Executive chairman John Fennelly, based in the US, joined the board last year as part of efforts to lift the company’s performance.

The company’s shares last traded at 16.5 cents per share.

By comparison, its cash and financial assets of $30.6 million at the end of January equated to 20 cents per share.

The company is seeking to reduce its monthly cash expense outflows from $1.2 million to $800,000.

 

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