APN major shareholder moves to oust board
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APN News & Media's major shareholder has called for a general meeting to remove the current board.
APN on Monday released a letter from its largest shareholder Independent News & Media (INM) requesting the board call a general meeting to vote on the removal of chief executive Brett Chenoweth, chairman Peter Hunt and directors Melinda Conrad, John Harvey, Kevin Luscombe and John Maasland.
INM said it was not calling for the removal of directors Paul Connolly, Peter Cosgrove, Vincent Crowley and Albert Harris "to ensure APN will continue to have a sufficient number of directors".
"If all resolutions are passed, INM would expect that the continuing directors would seek to identify and appoint additional independent directors who have the skills and commitment to contribute to the board's consideration of strategies and initiatives to restore value," INM said.
On Friday, INM said it had "lost confidence in Mr Chenoweth's ability to implement the strategic initiatives necessary to reposition APN for the more challenged media landscape that has emerged in Australasia".
The Ireland-based INM, which owns about 29 per cent of APN, added that it was "seeking the removal of Brett Chenoweth as director and chief executive of APN News & Media" and planned to call an extraordinary general meeting.
On Monday, APN said it had received the notice and intended to make a further announcement later in the day regarding a potential capital raising and other matters.
"Until that time, APN remains in a trading halt," APN said.
APN owns newspapers, radio, outdoor advertising and digital assets in Australia and New Zealand.
APN on Friday said it was considering a pro-rata capital raising, a move that INM, and APN's other major shareholder - funds manager Allan Gray - oppose.
The stock last traded at 30 cents.