Londis B share dispute
18 May 2009 | 0
The ‘B Shareholders Group,’ representing 25 former members of the former Allied Distributive Merchants Limited (ADM), protested last month outside ADM Londis’ headquarters in Johnstown, Co Kildare, during the company’s AGM.
The protest was part of a long standing dispute with ADM Londis Plc, in which the B shareholders claim the value of their shares has been unfairly kept at par with the original worth of IR£6,000 (€7,618), while the A shares’ value has increased considerably since the conversion to plc in 2004.
Members of the former ADM voted in 1998 to create the B class of shares for shareholder members who had ceased trading with the co-operative for a period of 12 months, but ranking these pari passu (equal in all respects) with the A shares.
A member of the B group, Kevin Mansfield said that there had been “not much response” to the demonstration so far, but that Londis has agreed to meet the group at some stage. Commenting to ShelfLife, Mansfield claimed that members had unknowingly voted “at a social event” in a way that held B shares at par value.
“All the rules were changed in one resolution, without reading them,” he said, but had he personally been aware of the full outcome of the alleged rule-change, “I wouldn’t have voted that way.”
ADM Londis released a statement saying that the “values and rights attaching to B shares in ADM Londis Group plc are as proposed to and as overwhelmingly approved by shareholders in 1998.” A spokesperson for the group has confirmed however, that there has been communication between the company and the B Shareholders Group, but that there has “never been any legal action” formally taken on either side.
Mansfield said that the B Shareholders Group would be satisfied with an offer of 10% of the A shares value.