Money Minute – May 27 2017 “Investor Revolt”
Ross Greenwood: The death of four people, also, you’ll remember this on the Thunder River Rapid Ride at Dreamworld last year was a tragedy that does continue to engulf the company, the families and the management of that business.
The big fight now, though, is who really does control Dreamworld? The management, trying to find a way forward. Or the shareholders of the company, who are actively trying to exert some kind of control.
Dreamworld’s owner is Ardent leisure – its seen its CEO, Deborah Thomas, move to a marketing position in the business, replaced by, as boss, by the former Channel Nine chief financial officer, Simon Kelly.
Now the chairman, Neil Balnaves, who was always going to retire, stepped down last year.
The company ordered a review into its operations, which includes the underperformance of Dreamworld, and the most prospective part of this business, a bowling entertainment chain in the US called Main Event.
The shares, you can see here, are being volatile.
The review could see Dreamworld either sold – the area is prospective for property development. The problem is this is where shareholders are grumpy with the layers of management.
The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that Dreamworld CEO, Craig Davidson, has told staff that the business is not for sale and new attractions are on the way.
Meantime, the veteran investor, Gary Weiss of Ariadne, has bought almost eight per cent of the shares in Ardent.
He’s agitating for a board seat along with the wealthy Queensland property developer Kevin Seymour – they want to unlock the value in this business.
Now, to be frank, they own the shares. Not all the shares but a lot more than the board and management do.
The question is who should have the greater say?
You could say the same thing is happening at BHP, fighting off the ideas and approaches from the US hedge fund Elliot Associates, which it owns four per cent of.
Now, mark my words, Australia‘s corporate sector is for a big shake, big names are going to change or fall as a result of.
One that won’t change though is Australia’s newest richest person, Anthony Pratt.
The Financial Review has named the cardboard box king as Australia’s newest wealthiest, worth $12 billion.
Overtaking property developer, Harry Trigubouff.
The reason why? Pratt won’t change he’s runs a private company, he owns all the shares, you see.
Dow Jones up 74 points and the dollar 75.08 US cents.
That Dreamworld story is going to be interesting to watch over the next little while Karl, Lisa.
I think the shareholders might get the ultimate sway but it’ll take some time.