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PaperlinX parrys Price

Tuesday, 20 March 2012
By Print21

With only days to go before the shareholder vote that will decide who will head the PaperlinX board, the company’s directors have slammed Andrew Price and once again backed Harry Boon in the board’s top job.

In a message sent to shareholders on 19 March, the PaperlinX board expressed its continued support of Boon, suggesting that Boon’s removal as chairman of the board would destabilise the company.

The shareholder communication is the latest instalment in an ongoing campaign by Price to topple Boon over concerns about company performance and instate himself as a non-executive chairman.

The shareholder letter highlights the restructuring efforts the company has taken under Boon’s leadership during a difficult economic climate and stresses that Price’s campaign to remove Boon as chairman has threatened the stability of the company during this “critical time.”

In an attempt to sway investor’s votes towards Boon (pictured), the directors’ message features a list of concerns about Price’s experience that have arisen in relation to his potential appointment as the board’s chairman, saying that Price had:

1. Virtually no operational experience outside Australia, where the majority of PaperlinX’s activities occur;
2. No prior experience of restructuring a large international business operating in 25 countries;
3. Failed to disclose concrete plans and intentions for turning the business around;
4. No demonstration understanding of the complex multi-currency, multi-country financing and capital structure of PaperlinX, and delicate current relationships with key suppliers, credit insurers and lenders;
5. Sought a role and authority beyond other non-executive directors, with limited accountability to the Board and remuneration far in excess of current directors’ fees;
6. Demonstrated limited understanding of the basic elements of good corporate governance in a public company.
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The vote to decide the whether Boon stays or goes will be taken at the company’s extraordinary general meeting on 23 March.

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