14/03/2011 - 13:03

Hunter Hall wins Kresta battle

14/03/2011 - 13:03

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Kresta Holdings chairman Peter Hatfull and major shareholder and former chairman Ian Trahar have lost their battle to retain control of the Malaga-based window furnishing company.

Hunter Hall wins Kresta battle

Kresta Holdings chairman Peter Hatfull and major shareholder and former chairman Ian Trahar have lost their battle to retain control of the Malaga-based window furnishing company.

Shareholders voted to dump Messrs Hatfull and Trahar from the board of directors, replacing them with nominees of Sydney-based Hunter Hall Investment Management.

John Molloy, a former advertising executive who has handled the Kresta brand and holds 1.5 million shares in the company, has been elected to act as chairman of directors.

Rick Taylor, a former director of Hunter Hall International, has also been made a director.

Around 65 per cent of Kresta shareholders voted to dismiss Messrs Trahar and Hatfull, while around the same number voted to appoint Messrs Taylor and Molloy.

The vote was revealed today at an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders requisitioned by major Kresta shareholder Hunter Hall Investment Management.

It had previously raised concerns over Kresta's management, decreasing profits and sharp decline in its share price.

Hunter Hall International co-director Jack Lowenstein was the first to move each motion in the proceedings of the meeting today.

Mr Trahar, who owns just less than 20 per cent of the company's shares, countered the requisition by launching a takeover bid for Kresta through another company he controlled, Wildweb Enterprises, in February.

He offered 32.5 cents per share but the price was independently ruled by Deloitte as neither fair nor reasonable.

The takeover bid was conditional on Mr Trahar remaining as a director on Kresta's board.

Mr Trahar said today the company needed to be reinvented and that the company would make money if it got it right.

He said he was considering five or six options regarding his takeover bid but would not divulge any details.

"We will make some decisions shortly in relation to the bid but hope to meet with the new board in the next few days to discuss the bid and the new board's intentions for the company before making a decision," he said in a statement issued after the meeting.

A shareholder questioned the likelihood of a comeback by former CEO Tass Zorbas, who left the board soon after Mr Trahar joined.

Mr Molloy said the company "owes huge gratitude to Tass Zorbas".

"It would be great to see him in a role with the company but that will be decided by the board, not me personally," Mr Molloy said.

Mr Taylor said good, strong leadership was vital but he had to address the board before he could decide who he thought it should be.

Mr Zorbas, who was at the meeting, said it was important the company continued the branding that had been instrumental to its success.

The reshuffle puts doubt over the only continuing non-executive director, Trent Bartlett, as he had backed Messrs Trahar and Hatfull in the fallout and urged shareholders to vote for their retention.

 

 

 

 

 

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