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Nanoco rejects shareholder letter demanding removal of board members

27th Mar 2023 14:06

(Alliance News) - Nanoco Group PLC on Monday responded to group of shareholders that published a letter raising "serious corporate governance concerns" and demanding the removal from the board of Chair Christopher Richards, Chief Executive Officer Brian Tenner and Chief Financial Officer Liam Gray.

The Manchester, England-based quantum dots manufacturer said: "Nanoco's board emphatically rejects the shareholder group's speculative concerns about certain actions and activities involving Nanoco.

"The directors of Nanoco have no intention of stepping down from the board and are confident that the board's actions and statements over the period of the Samsung litigation were in line with its corporate governance duties, obligations and standards".

The letter asked for the removal of five of the six board members, excluding only Chief Technology Officer Nigel Pickett.

The group of shareholders that published the letter is led by Tariq Hamoodi, who holds a 4.2% stake in the firm, and expresses "deep concerns" about actions within and involving Nanoco and minority shareholders Richard Griffiths and Lombard Odier, the latter being a Swiss private bank.

The letter was sent on March 10 and was made public on Monday, the group said, after it had not received an "adequate response".

Among its concerns, the Hamoodi group said Nanoco had "apparently transacted" with the minority shareholders to raise finance on terms that benefit the minority shareholders. The letter also alleged some of the statements around the "merits and settlement prospects" in the Samsung litigation "appear to be misleading".

The Hamoodi group said the minority shareholders seemed to be acting on information that wasn't available to other shareholders or the market more generally. "Preferred shareholders dumped their shares in Nanoco whilst the share price was rising on the basis of statements made or withheld about the Samsung litigation, before it sharply fell after settlement details were published," the group claimed.

Nanoco in February had said it signed USD150 million settlement with Samsung Electronics Co for IP infringement. Nanoco had said it will receive the cash paid in two equal tranches, and it will retain over USD90 million in net proceeds after litigation costs.

Nanoco shares were 0.5% lower at 20.20 pence each in London on Monday afternoon. The stock is down 25% over the past 12 months.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News reporter

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