25/05/2004 - 22:00

Stirling board troubles ahead of feed trials

25/05/2004 - 22:00

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STIRLING Products is the latest Perth company to enter the animal health market, but so far it is better known for boardroom turmoil than any scientific and commercial achievements.

Stirling board troubles ahead of feed trials

STIRLING Products is the latest Perth company to enter the animal health market, but so far it is better known for boardroom turmoil than any scientific and commercial achievements.

The company, formerly known as West Oil, moved into the animal health market by acquiring the Stirling Products business, which consists of an exclusive licence to commercialise a new type of medicated feed additive for livestock.

The additive is promoted as a safer and more effective alternative to the use of antibiotics and hormones as growth promoters in cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens and other animals.

The acquisition of Stirling Products was part of a major restructuring approved by shareholders on December 30 last year.

The restructuring included a capital consolidation and a successful $5 million share issue managed by Montagu stockbrokers.

The final step in the restructuring – the establishment of a workable board of directors – has proved highly problematic.

US investment banker Peter Boonen was named last year as a future director but did not take up the appointment.

In mid February the company appointed four new directors, including managing director Dr Calvin London.

However, two of those people resigned last week – Canada-based executive director Dr Allan Blain and Perth-based non-executive director Marshall Couper.

In March the company appointed London-based Professor Clive Page as chairman but early this month he stepped down from that role.

He will, however, continue as a non-executive director.

The company had planned to hold a general meeting to solve its boardroom problems, which it sought to explain in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

“Notwithstanding that there was general agreement amongst the board in respect of the short-term strategic direction of the company, including the underlying science of the company’s products, the board has come to an impasse over the day-to-day management,” it says.

It said the resignations of Messrs Couper and Bain, and last week’s appointment of Mark Savage as chairman, had resolved the impasse.

Mr Savage, chairman of Perth-based Central Asia Gold and a director of Brisbane-based Global Petroleum, now resides in the US.

Dr London said the company, now preparing the first trials of its feed additive, planned to contract out manufacturing and marketing.

Stirling Products’ shares are currently trading at around 20 cents per share, in line with the price of the $5 million capital raising but well below highs of 49 cents reached earlier this year.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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