26/11/2013 - 15:55

Empire report gets 84% no vote

26/11/2013 - 15:55

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Empire Oil and Gas shareholders showed their overwhelming lack of support today towards the company’s recently ousted directors by lodging a massive vote against the remuneration report.

Newly elected Empire directors Tony Iannello (left) and Brett Heading. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Empire Oil and Gas shareholders showed their overwhelming lack of support today towards the company’s recently ousted directors by lodging a massive vote against the remuneration report.

There was an 84.7 per cent 'no' vote against the remuneration report, based on proxies lodged before the meeting.

Shareholders voted in favour of the election of ERM Power representatives Tony Iannello and Brett Heading as directors of the company.

This followed an agreement last week for long-serving directors Craig Marshall, Neil Joyce and Jeff MacDonald to resign from the board, after long-running criticism of governance standards and operational issues.

The only continuing director is Bevan Warris, who spoke briefly to the meeting, saying he had been supportive of the former directors but had to make a choice when they agreed to step down.

Mr Iannello said ERM, which a major Empire shareholder and led the charge aganst the old board, supported Mr Warris continuing as a director to ensure some continuity, and for his knowledge of the company's operations.

One shareholder attracted applause today when he said “there is a lot of pain in this room”.

He said there was both financial pain from the weak share price and emotional pain from shareholders who were subject to legal action from the ousted directors.

Mr Iannello said the board would commence a thorough review of the company’s operations.

This would include reviewing the indemnity under which Empire met costs associated with legal action taken by the former board. 

Mr Iannello said the most important focus was to extract full value from the company's assets, including its Red Gully project, which is operational but only after a large cost blow-out.

It would also seek to recruit two new independent directors, one of whom would become chairman, and a new chief executive.

 

 

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