Radzyminski wins war against Coventry chair

Radzyminski wins war against Coventry chair

Activist investor Gabriel Radzyminski ’s six-month campaign to dethrone Roger Flynn as executive chairman of Coventry Group has met success.

Coventry Group announced to the ASX on Wednesday that Flynn will hand over chairmanship of the board and resign as a non-executive director on January 23.

As announced at the annual general meeting on November 7, Peter Caughey will take on the chief executive role effective January 1. Caughey will now be appointed to the board following Flynn’s departure.

It was first flagged in September that Flynn will step down from the board after a hand-over to Caughey, who was employed by the company two years ago to head-up its troubled fasteners division.

Radzyminski robustly protested Flynn’s plans to stay on for an indefinite transition period.

The $92.4 million Western Australian company services and supplies parts, such as fasteners and gaskets, for industrial vehicles and machinery.

Coventry Group shares spiked nearly 24 per cent in June on news that Radzyminski’s Sandon Capital in co-operation with Dorsett Investments had built a significant stake and that were seeking to topple the directors. Dorsett is a private investment company headed up by Perth retail entrepreneur Lorna Dorsett.

But the shares have pulled back by 30 per cent since then to Wednesday’s close at $2.42.

Sandon Capital and Dorsett Investments have been campaigning for the company to abandon any future acquisition plans and ramp-up the return a stash of cash and franking credits accumulated in more buoyant years to shareholders.

In light of the company’s recent poor performance the board has agreed to a 9 per cent pay cut in director’s fees – although this has been deferred to January 2015.

Flynn’s resignation has controversially been classed as a termination of contract, which based on his newly confirmed departure date will entitle him to about eight-months pay after he stops working for the company.

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Author: Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Jake Mitchell
Published: Nov 19, 2014
Source: The Australian Financial Review