Employment Relations Authority Decides in Favour of Abano
Following an Employment Relations Authority decision released on Friday 16 May 2014, the Abano-appointed directors of Bay International Ltd (“Bay”) have terminated the employment agreements of Peter and Anya Hutson.
The Authority ruled that the Abano directors on the Bay board have the right on behalf of Bay to terminate the employment agreements between Bay and Peter and Anya Hutson, whose associated interests also own 50% of the shares in Bay.
Peter and Anya Hutson, along with Abano executives Alan Clarke and Richard Keys are the directors of Bay.
The Authority noted that in regard to the Hutsons’ conflicts of interests arising from the takeover bid in which they were involved last year, Alan Clarke and Richard Keys had suggested, “protocols be put in place to manage the conflicts”. This was rejected by Peter and Anya Hutson.
In ruling in favour of the Abano-appointed directors, the Authority noted that to not have the right claimed by Abano “flouts business common sense and would produce a commercially absurd outcome.”
The ruling confirms the position long maintained by the Abano-appointed directors and, on behalf of Bay, they have terminated the Hutsons’ employments.
This termination does not affect the Hutsons’ shareholding or their ongoing rights to board representation on Bay. Both shareholding groups are, to that extent, now on an equal footing.
Chairman of Bay, Alan Clarke, says that after a disappointing start to the audiology venture, several changes were made to local senior management teams in both Australia and Asia.
“The new executive team in Australia has made a material difference and we are seeing a significant improvement, with solid sales growth over the past two years. This has provided us with confidence that the business is now on track to achieve break even at EBITDA, and to then provide a positive profit contribution to the Abano Group.”