Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Construction company Group Five’s share price bounced up 2.65% to R19 on Wednesday afternoon shortly before it told shareholders that Keneilwe Moloko would no longer be available for election as a non-executive director.

The share price, which has been on a long-term downward trajectory in line with weakness in the industry, dipped sharply at the end of April ahead of disclosures about changes at executive and board level.

In late June, Group Five informed shareholders that it would be holding an extraordinary general meeting on July 24 to vote on the election of five directors from a list of nine candidates. The announcement followed hostilities between the Group Five board and the company’s largest shareholder, Allan Gray.

Graphic: DOROTHY KGOSI
Graphic: DOROTHY KGOSI

In mid-May, Allan Gray, which holds 25%, demanded a special meeting of shareholders aimed at reconstituting the board. At that stage, the board did not say who the shareholder was, but that the demand followed a disagreement about the direction of the company.

Group Five gave no indication why Moloko, who is a chartered accountant and quantity surveyor, had withdrawn her availability. Moloko’s appointment to the board had been motivated by shareholder Mazi Capital who had also nominated Edward Williams.

Cora Fernandez and Thabo Kgogo were nominated by the Public Investment Corporation, the company’s second-largest shareholder. Allan Gray nominated five directors.

Directors are elected by a simple majority of shareholders voting at the meeting.

In the notice of the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting, the board said it had serious concern about Allan Gray’s insistence on the nomination of its five proposed candidates as a bloc. It also said it did not agree with Allan Gray’s views about the direction of the company, "which involves unbundling significant portions of the group".

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