AWB stock exchange stance angers Jones

30 Oct, 2002 10:00 PM
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BRUCE Rock farmer Kevin Jones believed a recent out of court settlement between him and AWB Limited should be announced to the Australian Stock Exchange.

The agreement brings to an end class action led by Mr Jones against AWB over its procedures for nomination and election of directors at AWB's 2001 and 2002 annual general meetings.

A confidentiality clause prevented either side from revealing details of the agreement.

However, a joint statement says processes for nomination and election of AWB directors would be subject to regular review by AWB to ensure they were conducted according to standards of independence, fairness and objectivity.

"AWB Limited will continue to ensure open communications to shareholders of the nomination and election process, including the process in the lead up to the close of nominations and voting at future AGMs," the statement reads.

"The parties remain committed to ensuring that AWB's corporate governance represents best practice for listed Australian public companies".

Mr Jones believed this final paragraph implied that an announcement of the agreement should be made to the ASX.

"I think there is an expectation shareholders would like to know about it," he said.

However AWB spokesman Peter McBride said the information was not deemed price sensitive and therefore did not need to be announced to the ASX.

He said the legal action had been listed on the stock exchange (in March 2001) because it was thought it could be price sensitive information.

"Now it has been decided it is not," he said.

Mr McBride said the agreement would not result in a change to the AWB's constitution. However, there would be no further endorsement of candidates before director nominations closed.

Mr Jones, who was narrowly defeated in the 2001 board elections, said many AWB announcements to the ASX were not price sensitive.

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