Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tim Saunder's independence in question

Contact Energy[CEN.NZX] got together for an annual meeting yesterday. The biggest subject on the agenda, the appointment of some directors, particularly little Timmy Saunders, who was a director of failed Feltex Carpets.

Like all boards, Contact's board is supposed to be made up of independent directors but Tim Saunders allegiances lie with Origin Energy [OST.ASX]the majority Aussie owner of Contact.

Institutions want Saunders removed because of his involvement with the Feltex collapse and his twice advocating a bungled a sale of Contact that cost the company millions but Origin want him to stay to keep them primed for another attempt at a takeover.

The offer by Origin for Contact was at a massive discount to market and shareholder expectations but because Origin owns just over 50% of Contact and has enough Origin aligned shareholders on the board Timmy and his mates decided to give the deal the big rubber stamp.

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