APN chiefs announce resignation
Major shareholders opposed capital-raising at Australia's APN News & Media.
The chief executive, chairman and independent directors of Australia's APN News & Media resigned today after major shareholder Independent News & Media (INM) said it had lost confidence in management.
APN said chairman Peter Hunt, chief executive Brett Chenoweth and three independent directors announced their resignations, effective tomorrow, after failing to convince shareholders to launch a renounceable pro-rate capital raising at its full-year results on February 21st.
INM, which holds a 28.95 per cent stake in APN, on said it had "lost confidence" in Chenoweth's ability to run the company, which includes operations in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, and called on him to quit. INM was backed by fund manager Allan Gray, APN's second-largest shareholder.
"Independent News & Media plc (INM) and its major shareholder together with Allan Gray representing approximately 51 per cent of APN's shares have unequivocally indicated they are opposed to a capital raising at the present time," APN said in a statement.
"The departing directors have a different view on gearing levels to the major shareholders and in light of their opposing position it is not tenable for them to continue," APN said.
APN shares were on a trading halt on the Sydney stock exchange after closing at A$0.30. The stock has crashed from a high of A$6.16 set in 2007.