Before commenting on the videos from current management, I need to address some disinformation that commenced yesterday following Mr Burton’s comments.
Specifically, the Change management team has no intention of closing the Perth office. This would be well known to anyone who has watched the Ask Me Anything sessions (replays are still available).
In both sessions I went out of my way to provide assurances to the team in Perth, commenting that they should ‘feel safe’ and ‘valued’. I added my aim was to ‘inspire and empower them to come on the journey’.
Nothing has changed. The only issue those in Perth face in the near term is that current management appears set on protracting the transition process.
Response to video and statement
On the videos yesterday, there was little new, and it is not in the best interests of TNG for a tit-for-tat exchange. Hence two brief responses only.
First, I view it as commercially irresponsible for Mr Burton to have discussed titanium in the terms used. This was a reference to an agreement between TNG and an important stakeholder. Mr Burton is not a party to the agreement. His role as a fiduciary is to promote the best interests of TNG at all times.
His approach can be contrasted to the Change campaign. I have throughout protected the commercial sensitivities of stakeholders, and the interests of shareholders, both small and large, both in Australia and overseas. I will continue to do so.
I additionally note that Mr Simon Morten is the Board member with relevant experience in the titanium sector, and the same Director that the Change campaign did not target.
Second, I strongly disagree with Mr Elkington stating that “we would be remiss in our duties of directors of TNG if we did not vigorously defend this action”.
As I said on Monday, the Change campaign is on track to prevail decisively, and with an overwhelming majority. It was notable that current management did not push back against these characterisations.
Yet even with that as given, current management has refused to engage with legal representation present on the basis proposed, and their recent actions have compounded the crisis of governance at TNG.
I also share the concerns voiced by highly engaged Shareholders that the ongoing phone campaign is now excessive, and testing the bounds of what is a reasonable expense to the company.
With the window for a negotiated settlement now closed, it is remiss, in my view, of both Mr Burton and Mr Elkington not to resign, and with immediate effect.
A final point is the key concern I alluded to yesterday.
Specifically, Shareholders should be aware that in the scenario where current management resigns, they will have the legal authority to write their own exit terms as against TNG immediately prior to resignation.
This prerogative will extend to contentious items, such as the vesting of performance rights and the loans-for-shares deal that Mr Burton has with TNG (both discussed in the first AMA session).
As such, I am here putting management on notice that upon a change of the current Board any and all exit agreements entered into will be reviewed forensically for compliance with the law and contractual obligations. Should this process uncover irregularities, the necessary remedies will be explored where appropriate. This important for the protection of company funds.
I also highlight that if current management continues to protract this action, the best interests of Shareholders will be served by going to a vote. Upon a change of the board and if appointed as a director, the Change team will then oversee the exit terms of current management.
Proposed Chair of TNG Limited