24/05/2012 - 13:05

IFS Construction faces second boardroom stoush

24/05/2012 - 13:05

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IFS Construction faces second boardroom stoush

IFS Construction Services is facing its second boardroom battle in two years, after former managing director Scott Williams teamed up with Perth business executives including Justin Walawski and Graham Griffiths in a bid to oust the current directors.

Mr Williams, through a number of family companies, has requisitioned a shareholder meeting seeking the removal of five current directors, including executive chairman Billy Ong.

The only director he doesn’t want removed is operations director Doug Weir, who is up for re-election at the company’s annual general meeting later this month.

The requisition has called for the appointment of three new directors: former ipernica managing director Graham Griffiths, former North West Iron Ore Alliance director Justin Walawski, and Greg LeGuier.

Mr Williams lodged an original requisition early this month, but this was ruled invalid, and has lodged a second corrected notice.

IFS said it has not received any explanation for the requisition.

However, it comes 17 months after Mr Williams, along with chairman Bill Ryan and director Ian Spence, resigned in acrimonious circumstances.

They were replaced by Mr Ong, his wife Anita Ong, Michael Fisk and CFO Stuart Usher. Deborah Whitig has recently joined the board.

The ousted directors said at the time that the board changes amounted to a "takeover by stealth".

They also criticised the connection with Mr Ong’s company Millenium Scaffolding Systems.

"This will give Millennium, already the single biggest shareholder and the major supplier of formwork and scaffolding equipment to the Company, effective board and management control without having to make a takeover offer or pay shareholders a takeover premium," they said.

IFS has been a consistently poor performer.

The company’s latest accounts showed improvements in revenue (to $22.8 million) and normalized EBITDA (to $833,000) but a blow-out to a $3.0 million net loss after-tax, after writing off goodwill on its Hire Access subsidiary.

 

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