Abano Response to Ongoing and Misleading Communications Campaign
Abano Healthcare Group has received further communications from Peter Hutson and James Reeves (Hutson/Reeves), which have been released publicly, and include a request for Trevor Janes to step down as chairman.
The company sees no merit in the Hutson/Reeves comments and will consider whether further response is required in due course. The Board supports Trevor Janes as chairman and remains unanimous in its support of the company’s strategic direction and all its responses to Hutson/Reeves.
After taking legal advice and engaging with the NZX, the Abano Board confirmed Mr Janes’ independence, prior to the publication of the 2013 annual report and the 2013 annual meeting.
Subsequent to that, NZX has issued a class waiver relating to independent director requirements in relation to all Accident Compensation Corporation board members.
Regardless, Mr Janes’ independence is irrelevant and has no corporate governance implications for Abano as the number of other independent directors of Abano has at all times exceeded NZX requirements.
Abano provided FY14 market guidance on 18 March 2014. This guidance is up on last year, ahead of brokers’ expectations and ahead of the forecast which was set out in Grant Samuel’s independent valuation report as released to the market on 26 November 2013 and subsequently reaffirmed by Grant Samuel in March 2014.
Hutson/Reeves continue to use selective, misleading and deceptive statements across their communications. The company has already referred this matter to the FMA and we understand the Hutson/Reeves actions have been under active investigation for some months.
We are disappointed that Hutson/Reeves continue to refuse to engage with the Board, despite numerous invitations to meet with the full Abano Board and/or Board representatives.
We are not surprised, that Mr Hutson, who failed in an attempt to take over the company at benefit to himself above other shareholders, continues to attack the credibility and value of the company.