Rupert Murdoch is not getting any younger, so it was touching to see News Corp shareholders taking it easy on their octogenarian chairman despite the latest attempt to prise the company from the iron grip of his family.
At Wednesday’s shareholder meeting in New York, the Murdochs managed to fend off the latest attempt to unwind the dual-class share structure that keeps them in control with a measly 14 per cent of the stock, and wind up proceedings in just 24 minutes.
That includes voting Rupert, James and Lachlan Murdoch back on to the board.
“See you next year I hope,” said a grateful, and obviously weary, Rupert.
The Sun King was not the only one feeling weary after the 24-minute exertion. Thursday afternoon local time, the company still hadn’t lodged the final vote tally on the latest insurrection.Training boss may get a lesson from investors
The Ivan Brown-run n Careers Network could not have chosen a better time to go into a five-week trading suspension to address a probe by the federal Department of Education into one of its training subsidiaries.
Smack dab in the middle of this halt is its annual general meeting.
With its share price now double last year’s IPO price – let’s overlook the rather twitchy suspension for now – it probably seemed like a good time to ask investors to approve the issue of performance rights to Brown, as well as the entire board including chairman Stephen Williams.
Apparently, the plan is designed to “provide an incentive for directors, senior management and other participants to focus on the medium and long-term performance outcomes of the company”.
Brown will do well if the share price does not tank following the outcome of its regulatory issues.
His $200,000 worth of “performance rights” has effectively doubled because it was priced in July when the stock was trading at half its present levels. Camp compo
Things are obviously going better than we thought at adventure-wear retailer Kathmandu.
All those inspirationally scenic photos littering the annual report could not camouflage the fact that new boss Xavier Simonet did rather well last financial year.
He was paid $136,267, including a $56,831 bonus.
The extraordinary bit was that he started at Kathmandu on June 29, which means he barely clocked up five weeks of work before the financial year ended at the end of July.
A note that the account does clarify the $56,831 cash bonus was a “sign-on bonus”.
And it would have made sense to pay it to Simonet as soon as he walked in the door.
After all, if Rod Duke’s Briscoe Group comes back with a successful bid for Kathmandu, the retailer would have faced the embarrassing prospect of reporting a CEO sign-on bonus, and termination payment, in the same annual report. Cash call
It’s hard not to laugh at the thought of a pay-day lender getting a taste of its own medicine, even if it is a mild one.
The Aussie-run global pay-day lender EZCorp, which is the biggest investor in our charmed little pawnbroker Cash Converters, has been hit with a hike in its own loan rates after an “event of default” on the terms of the $US230 million debt.
The default referred to is EZCorp’s failure to file its second-quarter financial accounts earlier this year due to problems from its Mexican accounting department. It has provided a wonderful welcome for former Myer CFO Mark Ashby.
EZCorp reported that the “sole remedy” to the breach is upping the interest rate on the Cash Convertible Senior Notes from 2.125 per cent to 2.625 per cent.
So it is still a bit short of the 160 per cent effective interest rate that Cash Converters allegedly charged local customers.
Things could get interesting for Ashby, and his boss – former Bank of Queensland CEO Stuart Grimshaw – if the account work is not filed by March 24 next year.
The noteholders can then demand the immediate payment of the $US230 million loan.
In other words, they might need a bit of cash in a hurry. At an appropriate rate, of course.
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