Nicholas Bolton launches third attempt to secure seat on Yowie board

14 October 2020, Written by David Simmons

Nicholas Bolton launches third attempt to secure seat on Yowie board

Nicholas Bolton's appetite for a seat on the board of Yowie (ASX: YOW) is proving to be insatiable, with the Keybridge Capital (ASX: KBC) boss launching his third bid for directorship of the chocolatier earlier this week.

Yowie announced on Monday that Keybridge, an investment firm with a 24.21 per cent interest in the chocolate maker, had called a general meeting to vote on electing John Patton and Bolton to the board.

Keybridge and Patton-led Aurora Dividend Income Trust, which has also been investigated by ASIC over an alleged "shadow" directorship for Bolton, have attempted to grab Yowie board seats in the past.

The last attempt was in June when YOW shareholders voted against the appointments of both Patton and Bolton.

However, during that attempted coup, Keybridge also sought to remove Yowie director Louis Carroll and Neville Bassett from the board.

This time around the duo are gunning for board seats without any attempt to kick Carroll and Bassett off the board.

A date for the vote on the appointment of both Patton and Bolton has not yet been decided upon by the Yowie board.

Whirlwind of takeovers for Keybridge

Keybridge had a busy year in FY20, with litigation costs piling up as the company embarked on a number of takeover attempts, some aimed at KBC itself.

The investment manager is currently embroiled in a takeover attempt from Wilson Asset Management Capital (ASX: WAM), the fourth of its kind.

The company also had to respond to litigation brought by William Johnson and Bentley Capital where those parties attempted to validate steps to assert the former as chairman of Keybridge.

In addition, Keybridge has been making its own moves on other entities, including one initiated on the penultimate day of the financial year.

This was the proposed takeover of RNY Property Trust which, if successful, will be done via the issuance of Keybridge shares at a ratio of 0.16 KBC shares to 1 RNY unit.

Keybridge's move raised the ire of WAM, resulting in the latter taking Keybridge to the Takeovers Panel.

WAM submitted that Keybridge and Aurora were acting in concert to concentrate ownership of ordinary shares in Keybridge in entities associated with KBC board members.

WAM said the move was made to "stymie WAM Active's bid by (among other things) diluting WAM Active's shareholding through the issue of new shares to Aurora (via KBC's convertible redeemable promissory notes (CRPNs) and the unconditional scrip bid for RNY)."

Further, the Bolton-led firm has been making some other moves, notably on Webcentral Group, involving the acquisition of a 5.47 per cent interest in the IT company.

The company also recently became a substantial shareholder in The Reject Shop (ASX: TRS) after acquiring 2 million shares in the retailer.

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Business News Australia

Author: David Simmons





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