The Mayne Report. October 2012.
Here is the latest Mayne Report contributed by Stephen Mayne of www.maynereport.com. Stephen regularly writes the Mayne Report. We highly recommend that you subscribe for his very informative newsletter. Click Here to subscribe or to view the full report..
News Corp AGM, Billabong, Cochlear, Woolies EGM, corporate voting, Doyle, cheese platters, Manningham and Boomers.
Dear 16,000+ Mayne Report readers,
The AGM season and Victorian council elections are both peaking right now so there’s plenty going on to warrant another missive 6 days after last Sunday’s bumper edition. If you’re not interested, click here to unsubscribe.
News Corp AGM
It wasn’t exactly in accord with ASA policy of being ready 14 days before the AGM, but this comprehensive News Corp Voting Intentions report was finally loaded up onto the ASA website at about 3am on Tuesday morning, 25 hours before Rupert fronted shareholders in Los Angeles.
It took about three hours to put together so do take a look. The data tracking the $360 million in salary paid to the Murdoch men over the past 13 years has never been put together before.
Paul Barry attended the AGM and filed for Crikey, but declined my invitation to be ASA’s proxy on the basis that he was an independent journalist.
Yes, and ASA is proudly independent too. Paul’s Crikey piece lamented the lack of tough questions at the AGM. Indeed Paul, you flew all the way from France to LA and then declined an opportunity to put the world’s most powerful bloke through his paces. His AGM report could have been just as easily written off the webcast.
The News Corp voting results were very interesting with clear majority support from the neutral shareholders for an independent chair and an end to the outrageous voting gerrymander.
I’ve been spreading this message far and wide. The ABC website The Drum published this 1200 word analysis yesterday afternoon. And check out this interview on ABC News Breakfast on the morning after the AGM, along with this interview with Ticky Fullerton on The Business the night before.
Woolies and the Get-Up pokies EGM
Woolworths released the notice of meeting for its pokies EGM yesterday and was immediately embroiled in a slanging match with Get-Up! over some of its claims in the material which is being sent to 417,000 shareholders. Here is what Get-Up said:
Activist group getup has claimed success in holding Woolworths to account over its potentially misleading statement to its 500,000 shareholders and the ASX earlier today Woolworths released a letter from Chairman James Strong which falsely represented the evidence in support of one dollar maximum bets and 120 an hour maximum losses for poker machines.
Mr Strong was required to send the letter because GetUp members, who are shareholders of Woolworths, have forced the company to hold an extraordinary general meeting to vote on reforms that would reduce the impact of their poker machines on problem gamblers.
In the original staetment sent to the ASX at 12:30pm Woolworths Chairman the James Strong said:
“There is no reliable evidence that the measures proposed in the resolution will have any impact on problem gambling in Australia.”
Then at 4:00pm Woolworths released a revised statement to shareholders and the ASX which says:
“There is no conclusive evidence that the measures proposed in the resolution will have any impact on problem gambling in Australia.”
“The fact of the matter is that there is reliable evidence from the Federal Governments Productivity Commission that the resolution being put to Woolworths shareholders is the effective and the best way to minimise the damage caused to our communities by Woolworths poker machines,” said GetUp National Director Sam McLean.
“We call out Woolworths for their pokies porkies which could have been misleading to shareholders and they’ve had to change their spin.”
“This means Woolworths is admitting that there is strong evidence that the company could reduce the harm it is doing to communities. Failing to act now would be grossly irresponsible.”