The company postponed the meeting after Passport Technology Inc, a casino fintech company that Australis has agreed to acquire, terminated the acquisition deal. In response, dissident shareholders submitted nominations to elect six new people to the board of directors, the company said.
Postponing the meeting gives the company and its shareholders time to process these recent events.
READ: Australis Capital announces the termination by Passport Technology of pending acquisition agreement
“Against the backdrop of a small group of dissident shareholders intent on leveraging the current challenges AUSA faces to take over the entire company, the board of directors is putting the interests of shareholders first by methodically charting the company's course for the foreseeable future,” Australis wrote in a statement.
The company is in discussions regarding the Passport deal and said it is confident that a settlement will be reached. It also expects to make significant changes to the board prior to the shareholder meeting, which will not include the dissident nominees.
“The company is confident that its adjusted strategy and proposed complement of directors will be far more appealing to shareholders than the collection of problematic nominees cobbled together by the dissident shareholder group,” Australis wrote.
Australis believes the shareholder group, led by Roger Sykes, is acting in bad faith.
“Notwithstanding the unrealistic and self-serving dissident demands and its continued public agitation, members of the company's board of directors have on numerous occasions reached out to members of the ‘concerned shareholders’ in an effort to seek and discuss in good faith all legitimate ideas that could move AUSA forward,” the company wrote.
Australis said it will continue working to find common ground with the group.
“It is in AUSA's best interests to put this dispute behind it and move forward united with all of its shareholders in support of the company's revamped strategy and board of directors,” the company added. “It is the board's sincere hope that these constructive efforts are reciprocated and that the dissidents seize the opportunity to demonstrate that they have the best interests of ALL shareholders top-of-mind.”
Australis Capital invests in, operates and builds companies operating in highly regulated industries. The company already has nine assets in the cannabis industry, six of which it wholly owns. Australis also has expanded its business to offer proprietary hardware and software technology to industries with the highest regulatory compliance standards, along with supporting payment and fulfillment services.
Contact Andrew Kessel at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel