05/12/2008 - 15:18

CityView investors push for changes

05/12/2008 - 15:18

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Perth-based CityView Corporation is facing a shareholder revolt with a group using the internet to express their concern over chief executive Mark Smyth and his management of the company.

Perth-based CityView Corporation is facing a shareholder revolt with a group using the internet to express their concern over chief executive Mark Smyth and his management of the company.

Yesterday the company said it was reviewing a request for an extraordinary meeting from an unnamed entity, and said it will provide the market with any updates.

In a written statement to WA Business News today, shareholder Sue Turner confirmed that a group representing over 11 per cent of investors had called the meeting.

Ms Turner said she and fellow shareholder Steve Coughlan are administrating the group of concerned stakeholders and are currently developing a website to "enable shareholders worldwide to be able to ask questions".

One concern of the group is the amount of power exercised by chief executive Mark Smyth, however Mr Turner said the group is not looking to oust him.

"At this point in time, we feel very strongly that one man has far too much power and influence in the planning and decision making process and we aim to even that out, and give the Board of directors a better opportunity to influence that planning and decision making process," Ms Turner said.

She added that other concerns included the sudden termination of two planned drilling programs at the company's copper and gold projects in Angola and ownership issues surrounding four diamond concessions.

"This confusion is compounded by the fact that a director of our Angolan partner company, Canzar Resources, is also a director of a company called Easyoffice Rentals Ltd," Ms Turner said.

"Easyoffice became a [CityView] substantial shareholder but then immediately started to sell down nearly all of its holdings. We are unsure why our Angolan partners felt this was an appropriate action.

"We will also support the push for the oil refinery project that is currently being planned, providing we feel that as a small company we can actually afford to progress all these projects.

"As our CEO, Mark Smyth, has pointed out, these are unusual financial times globally, and the company has recently lost a JV with $1.1 billion in funding.

"We therefore realise that we must proceed with caution. Our company placed US$14 million into trust with our JV partner but we have now been told we cannot get the money back. The return of these funds would bankroll us for the minerals projects and would totally negate the need for a crippling rights issue.

"We need to better understand why the company placed our money in such jeopardy and why we have lost the option to get the cash back.

"For these reasons, and due to the large amount of spending we have seen this year, resulting in little solid evidence of ownership of anything tangible to the value of the spending, we see a great need to support and join the existing Board by ensuring that our investments to date are protected.

She aded the company has so far not responded to the group's request for a meeting or any of the resolutions.

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