There has been a fresh attempt to influence the leadership direction of troubled Asian casino operator Donaco International Ltd.
Two people – Gerald Tan Eng Hoe and Patrick Tan Teck Lee – have given Donaco notice that they want a shareholders’ meeting in order to remove all the current directors and replace them with the duo and three other named people – Josiah Raymond Ng Meng Ngee; Lim Tow Chong; and Dale Klynhout.
Donaco – which runs a casino hotel in Vietnam and one in Poipet, Cambodia – said in a Friday filing to the Australian Securities Exchange that after seeking legal advice on the topic it considered the request for the stockholder meeting “invalid”.
But the firm said nonetheless that its 19.25 percent shareholder One Nut Road Ltd – a subsidiary of Argyle Street Management Ltd, an institutional investor – had backed holding such a board meeting in order to clear the air over the matter.
The filing carried a statement said to be from On Nut Road.
Part of it said: “It is our view that in order to settle the matters addressed in the invalid notice and allow the company to move forward with the current, stable board, which is not subject to challenge, we believe it is in the interests of the company to put these resolutions to members.”
On Nut Road – identified in the filing as Donaco’s largest single shareholder – added: “…we do not support the resolutions proposed by the requisitioners and our vote will be independent from their vote.”
The shareholder further stated: “There is no agreement, arrangement or understanding in place between On Nut Road Ltd and the requisitioners regarding the proposal to move these resolutions; the issue of a request to call a general meeting of the company; or how to vote on the resolutions.”
According to Friday’s filing, Donaco’s board must call the stockholder meeting within 21 days after the request is given, and the meeting must be held not later than two months after the request was made.
Donaco has been roiled in recent times by a number of issues. They have included its long-running dispute with the Thai people that sold the group the rights to run the Star Vegas Resort and Club in Poipet, and the extended leave of absence – described as for health reasons – of the former chief executive Joey Lim Keong Yew.
Last month Paul Arbuckle, the recently-appointed group chief executive said in comments prefacing Donaco’s report for financial year ending June 30, that the firm had made “operational improvements” in the three months ending September 30 this year, that were already resulting in “improved financial performance”.
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Francis Lui Yiu Tung
Vice chairman of Macau-based casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group