'No' Abano vote recommended

Haley Van Leeuwen.
Haley Van Leeuwen.
Forsyth Barr is recommending Abano Healthcare shareholders vote against a resolution chairman Trevor Janes be removed from office.

A special meeting is scheduled for Friday, although dissenting shareholder James Reeves filed proceedings in the High Court seeking orders to postpone the special meeting to a date three to four weeks after June 13.

Mr Reeves and fellow shareholder Peter Hutson, who hold 18.5% of Abano between them, are seeking shareholder support to remove Mr Janes as chairman.

Forsyth Barr broker Haley Van Leeuwen said on Thursday the two men were involved in the failed takeover attempt of Abano in 2013.

They then launched a public campaign criticising the performance of the Abano board and management, calling for change, starting with a new chairman.

Abano was a long-term growth-focused investor, prepared to invest to generate returns which, in the short-term, might suppress earnings, she said.

The strategy was evident from the investment in radiology businesses and the expansion of the audiology network in Australia and Asia.

Also, investment in infrastructure to support the expanding dental platform would enable the dental acquisition strategy to continue.

Abano's brands include Lumino The Dentist.

Abano had a track record of creating shareholder value and Forsyth Barr's outperform ratings reflected the incumbent board and management continuing to pursue those growth strategies, Mrs Van Leeuwen said.

''The dissenting shareholders have provided little in the way of what alternative strategies will be pursued in the event the chairman is deposed. The ongoing dispute with the dissenting shareholders has been a major distraction for the board and management.

''We recommend Abano shareholders vote against the resolution,'' she said.

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