Good morning, it's Paul here with the SCVR for New Year's Eve.

Timing - I had another lie in this morning, as there's no company news of any interest. However, I'm in the mood to do a bit of writing, so will conjure up something. Likely finish time - later today. Update at 12:40 - today's report is now finished. Goodbye to 2020, you won't be missed!


AGM votes

A couple of interesting situations cropped up earlier this week with AGM votes. Usually everything goes through with near-unanimous votes, but occasionally shareholders rebel, e.g.


(I hold)

Still about 50% owned by the founders, as you can see from the Stockopedia graphic below. Therefore quite a small free float.



Given this shareholding structure, I was really surprised to see the AGM vote results here. All but 1 of the 11 resolutions went through with over 99% support. However, the last resolution (to disapply pre-emption rights when issuing new shares) got a 27.7% no vote. As it was a special resolution (needing 75% yes vote under company law), it failed to reach that threshold.

Of the 124m shares in issue, 72.9m of them were used in the AGM votes.

Given that many private investors are effectively disenfranchised, through the nominee system making it impractical to vote at AGMs, even by proxy. Plus people like me hold shares indirectly via derivatives (CFD, spread bets, etc) hence also don't get a vote. Then this implies the big institutional shareholders, Stonehage & Schroders, might have voted "no" to resolution 11. If so, good for them! It's long overdue for institutions to start thinking like owners, not traders, and to effectively oversee companies they hold shares in, instead of just waving through everything without scrutiny.

Quiz responded;

Resolution 11 required a minimum of 75% of votes cast to be in favour of the Resolution for it to be passed. Further to the vote noted above this Resolution was not passed.

The Board will consult with our shareholders to understand and seek to address any concerns they may have.

That's excellent, and how things should be done. I imagine the concern is that disapplying pre-emption rights could allow management to dilute existing holders if the company needs to raise more cash. As a holder myself, I would…

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