HCI CEO Johnny Copelyn. Picture: SUPPLIED
HCI CEO Johnny Copelyn. Picture: SUPPLIED

Investment conglomerate Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI), headed by CEO Johnny Copelyn, suffered shareholder rejection of its remuneration policy during its AGM on Thursday.

More than a quarter (25.51%) of investors in Hosken, a major shareholder in broadcasting house eMedia Holdings, voted against the company’s remuneration plans, triggering the company to address shareholder concerns over directors and executives’ pay. In the year to March, HCI’s executives including Copelyn, were paid a total of R29.5m, which includes salaries. The non-executive directors received a total of R6m.  

“HCI’s remuneration committee on behalf of the board, will engage with shareholders to better understand the reasons why they voted against the non-binding advisory endorsement, to enable the committee to consider these concerns,” the company said on Friday in a shareholder statement.

Shareholders from various companies have, in recent months, expressed unhappiness with high pay for directors and executives in relation to the performance of the business and the share price.

In an unprecedented move in the listed real-estate sector, 80% of Rebosis Property Fund’s ordinary shareholders voted against implementing the company’s remuneration policy.

HCI, which is sitting on almost R3bn of debt, already had a considerable debt load when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and was forced to write down and impair a number of its assets as a result. These include some of its mainstay operations in casino, gaming and hotels, which were disrupted and shuttered during the government-imposed lockdowns.

In its latest year results, the group announced that it had factored in a 96% reduction in revenue for the first six months of the 2021 financial year in its hotel operations.

Shares in HCI, which has investments in hotels and gaming, media, oil and gas, have lost 48% of their value so far in 2020. The company has a market capitalisation of R4bn.

Update: October 16 2020 
This article has been updated with financial information.

thukwanan@businesslive.co.za

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