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Ives fails in Sweett coup bid

9 May 13 An attempt by Francis Ives to take back control of Sweett Group, the company he used to chair, has been voted down by shareholders.

Francis Ives
Francis Ives

At a general meeting today (9 May 2013), shareholders reject Mr Ives bid for him to replace Michael Henderson as chairman. Mr Ives secured nearly 20% support of the vote, most of which (87%) came from former employees of the company that used to work alongside Mr Ives.

Mr Henderson, who remains non-executive chairman of the board for the time being, said: “Shareholders have spoken convincingly in favour of the Board and their voice needs to be listened to and respected.

"I am particularly pleased with the significant levels of support shown by our staff and institutional shareholders, an important factor as we build on our global platform and continue to successfully deliver on our three-year plan.   During the course of the general meeting some constructive points were made which will be debated further and considered by the board.

"It is crucial that the group is now afforded a period of stability such that the important business of strategy execution can be focused on without distraction.

"In order to facilitate a smooth transition to a new non-executive chairman of the group, the Nominations Committee has asked that I delay my retirement from the board until the end of the current financial year, 31 March 2014.  I have agreed to do so, subject to my re-election at the upcoming annual general meeting."

Mr Ives told The Construction Index in March why he felt the need to return to Sweett’s boardroom: “The company has a weak balance sheet with too much debt and cannot fund the working capital it needs to support its own growth plans. I ran the business for many years without losses and have the experience to lead the business back into good health.”

The voting was as follows:





Resolution 1 - To remove Michael Henderson as Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Company





Resolution 2 - To appoint Francis Ives as an additional Director and Chairman of the Company





Resolution 3 - To remove any Director appointed pursuant to the Articles between the date of the Requisition (as defined in the circular relating to the General Meeting) and the conclusion of the General Meeting





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