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Cloudten owner Vortiv battles board revolt

Cloudten owner Vortiv battles board revolt

Shareholder Rocket Science called for removal of chairman, plus two directors.

Credit: Dreamstime

Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed Vortiv has found itself embroiled in a shareholder revolt over the appointment of its non-executive chairman and two directors.  

The Western Australian technology for financial services provider, which owns and operates Decipher Works and Cloudten, is currently in a battle with Rocket Science, which seeks the “hostile” removal of independent chair Ian Smedley. 

The shareholder has also asked for the removal of two directors, one of whom has already resigned. 

As a result, Vortiv claimed these “latest hostile actions” by Rocket “highlight that this is an opportunistic attempt to try and gain control of the company with no specific short or long-term strategy for growth”. 

The takeover would mean appointing a majority of the board without owning an equivalent controlling stake of shares, Vortiv added. 

According to a notice on the ASX by Vortiv, Smedley brings “independence and significant skillset” to the board, whose appointment is said to be subject to an upcoming shareholder vote. 

Rocket Science, which according to Bloomberg is a Brisbane-based investment advisory firm, has already required the board to convene a general meeting on 19 April to remove directors Howard Digby and Jeffrey Lai and replace them with two of its nominees. 

Lai has already resigned and Vortiv now has to undertake steps to convene a general meeting, in accordance with the Corporations Act, to consider the removal of Smedley. 

“The board is extremely disappointed by the recent actions from the requisitioning shareholder as the company will now be forced to the cost and expense of convening a further general meeting of shareholders," the ASX note added.  

“This is a highly inefficient use of company resources and a waste of company funds, which would be better put to use in assessing potential transactions.” 

Formerly known as Transaction Solutions International (TSI), Vortiv acquired Cloudten in $8.6 million deal two years ago.  

Later in 2019, it changed its name to Vortiv due to its renewed focus on cyber security backed by cloud services off the back of its Decipher Works and Cloudten acquisitions.  

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Tags rocket scienceCloudtenVortiv

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