Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gunns' Silencer

 From the business section of the Oz. March 30 2010

IDENTIFYING what's likely to happen at Gunns is a much livelier game than at other companies. First and foremost, most of the action takes place with the curtains closed. Is chairman John Gay going to step down? And is he going to take director and former Tassie Premier Robin Gray with him?
That's been the push by institutional shareholders, who were after Gay's scalp well before litigation funder IMF started the war drums last week about a potential class action by shareholders about the board's alleged failure to keep investors informed about a 98 per cent drop in first half profit to around $400,000.
The most recent statement from the company, while all this has been going on, was dated March 11 which is 19 days ago. We spoke to a shareholder yesterday who was a mite more forthcoming, noting that "there's movement afoot,", "there's a process in place" and "there will be some sort of an update in April" on the subject of board renewal. Mysterious?
"That's the way we like it," said the voice, who was still a geyser of chat compared with the company's formal output, which has been almost zero. The only crumb of a scoop that the Tassie papers could scavenge yesterday was that Gunns is looking to sell its seven Mitre 10 stores in Tasmania for $35-$40 million to reduce debt.
Since you asked, they're in Hobart, Launceston, George Town, Burnie, Devonport, Port Sorell and Ulverstone.

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