28/03/2017 - 10:55

Wilson quits Quintis as takeover looms

28/03/2017 - 10:55

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An extraordinary twist has emerged in the Quintis saga, with founder and managing director Frank Wilson resigning to work with an unnamed overseas corporation that is planning a takeover proposal of the Perth-based Indian sandalwood producer.

Wilson quits Quintis as takeover looms
Frank Wilson has resigned as managing director of Quintis to focus on plans to acquire the business. Photo: Attila Csaszar

An extraordinary twist has emerged in the Quintis saga, with founder and managing director Frank Wilson resigning to work with an unnamed overseas corporation that is planning a takeover proposal of the Perth-based Indian sandalwood producer.

But he could end up back at the helm of Quintis as an unlisted company, if all goes according to plan for Mr Wilson.

Mr Wilson, who is also a major shareholder in Quintis with a 13 per cent stake, handed in his immediate resignation last night after revealing he had recently been approached by a “well-funded, credible party”, which plans to make an offer to Quintis for all the shares that Mr Wilson doesn’t already own.

He told the board that his resignation would allow him to fully focus on developing the potential deal into a proposal as soon as practical.

“At this stage, the approach has been indicative and non-binding, however Mr Wilson believes that the party is serious and credible, requiring his full-time commitment,” Mr Wilson said in a statement.

The prospect of a takeover has attracted the interest of investors, with Quintis shares making a recovery from last week’s plummet.

At 11am, Quintis shares were 12.3 per cent higher to $1.23 each.

Quintis said it has not received any formal or informal proposal from Mr Wilson or the potential party/ies he intends to work with, nor the specifics of what the potential terms and conditions could be.

It also couldn’t guarantee that an offer would come, and, following more queries by the ASX this morning for clarification, said it did not know the identity of the international corporation Mr Wilson would be working with.

But Mr Wilson said the corporation was well-funded, and that he believed it was a serious approach.

“It is my intention to fully assess this confidential approach and any others, unencumbered by my duties and responsibilities as managing director,” he said.

“It is important that this approach is assessed in order to develop and present a credible proposal to the Quintis board that is attractive to, and in the best interests of, all Quintis shareholders.

“If successful, I intend to resume my duties with the company.

“As the founding and major shareholder of Quintis, this is not a decision that I have taken lightly. However, I believe it is in the best interests of all shareholders.”

Quintis chairman Dalton Gooding said while the fundamentals of the business hadn’t changed and remained strong, several recent issues had affected the company’s share price.

Quintis has been subject to accusations by US-based activist short-seller Glaucus Research Group that it is operating a Ponzi-like business model and was heading for failure.

“The board will work quickly to establish both interim and longer term senior management arrangements,” Mr Gooding said.

“Fortunately we have a very experienced senior management team who are extremely capable of fulfilling the duties previously undertaken by Mr Wilson.

“It is important to recognise Mr Wilson’s achievements in establishing Quintis as the world’s largest grower of premium Indian sandalwood with assets that are extremely valuable to Quintis and its shareholders.”

Yesterday, Quintis revealed to the market its list of customers, one of which being China-based Shanghai Richer Link which hasn’t made any orders this year due to issues with customs.

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