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Exposed, Harvey Norman Directors Forced To Dispose Of Questionable Stock

Harvey Norman Directors who lined their own pockets with benefits at the expense of other shareholders have been caught out and forced to sell the questionable shares on market.

The nine directors waited till the market closed on Friday night to quietly slip an announcement to the ASX that they have been stripped of questionable benefits that could have pocketed them millions, they include David Ackery Gerry Harvey, Katie Page, John Slack-Smith, Chris Mentis, Michael John Harvey, Solicitor Christopher Brown, Kenneth Gunderson-Briggs Graham Paton.

Some of the Harvey Norman Directors who benefited from the discounted shares. Left to right Gerry Harvey, David Ackery, John Slack Smith, Chris Brown and Katie Page.

 

They are saying it was an “inadvertent” mistake that saw them end up with heavily discounted shares.

The gaul of their actions is that the largest shareholder in Harvey Norman Gerry Harvey was last month having verbal diaphora when he criticised Australian banks for raising capital without giving all shareholders (namely himself) equal access.

“In the GFC most of them (companies) including all the banks were all in strife overnight and they didn’t even let all their shareholders participate in most cases in the raising, because they didn’t have time, needed the money tomorrow, and I’m still shitty about the fact that I didn’t get any shares in a lot of those banks and companies,” he said.

After the market closed on Friday, the company revealed the ASX had taken issue with their own arrangement.

It “inadvertently”, the company admitted, breached listing rule 10.11, which forbids those who lead a company simply awarding themselves cheap equities unless it’s approved by shareholders or the result of a pro-rata capital raise (which this one was not).

As a “corrective measure”, the directors will sell the shares they got through the top-up facility.

Then in an effort to appear human they donated to the Western Sydney University Scholarship Fund.

The Financial Review said that their actions didn’t really offer redress to the small shareholders who got unequal access to discounted shares in the first place. Suppose that would make it too obvious who the victims were.

Harvey Norman initially raised the $163.8M to pay down debt. Those who owned at least 300 securities could apply for more cheap shares than they were strictly entitled to, an advantage when it came to be accessing discounted stock.

And you better believe the board as a whole took up all the stock they could, which in Harvey’s case meant an extra 1 million of those $2.50 shares (of the 2.8 million on offer).

The Financial Review said, ‘Next time Gerry Harvey starts running his mouth off about sticking up for the little guy, remember: he’s only referring to himself’.

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