Good morning!

Not many of our usual types of companies are reporting today. With the May half-term, lots of people are away at the moment, and the mood is quiet on the RNS.

This list is evolving:




Management Resource Solutions (LON:MRS)

  • Share price: 2.95p (unch.)
  • No. of shares: 223 million
  • Market cap: £7 million

Update 31 May

This share lies outside my investable universe of stocks: it's an Australian mining services group. Not my bag.

But I've been aware for some time of a grassroots shareholder campaign to eject the Chairman and the Finance Director.

This campaign was catalysed by certain transactions, in particular the purchase of a start-up company for £1.3 million from individuals described as "close business associates" of the Directors.

In the end, the campaign failed at a general meeting, on a high voter turnout. Its motions were defeated by 16 million votes, less than 10% of shares outstanding. Close, but no cigar.

Today, the Board confirms there will be an independent legal review of the controversial deal. This is on top of an independent valuation report.

What do I think of all of this? Well, I try my best not to get involved in this sort of thing. If I think that the wrong people are running a company, that will pretty much ruin my interest in it. Why go to all the effort of running a campaign to replace management, when there are plenty of decent management teams running other companies that we can invest in?

So the most obvious strategy is to avoid and sell shares in companies with the wrong people running them.

There certainly is a place for shareholder activism to remove directors, but I would use it only as a last resort, and with great reluctance. 

The MRS campaign nearly succeeded, so it's understandable why the activist shareholders thought that they had a chance and went to the effort of organising it. Now that it has been shown they…

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