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Penrice directors survive spill vote

The directors of chemicals maker Penrice Soda have survived a two strikes board spill vote with strong support for them to remain.

At an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Adelaide on Friday, Penrice chairman David Trebeck received 77.8 per cent support and deputy chairman Andrew Fletcher had 78.44 per cent of shares voted in his favour.

Three challengers proposed by dissident shareholder London City Equities (LCE) were comprehensively defeated, with each receiving about 25 per cent support.

Penrice Soda is the first company to fall foul of Australia's new "two strikes" rule under which a board must be spilled and face re-election if more than 25 per cent of shareholders reject the company's remuneration report two years in a row.

The Adelaide-based chemicals maker recently announced it would cease production of soda ash - an ingredient in glass bottles and washing detergent - and instead import it in a bid to slash costs.

Penrice has suffered mounting losses and a plummeting share price in recent years, leading to agitation from five per cent stakeholder LCE for board renewal.

Speaking after the vote, Mr Trebeck said he was delighted with the "emphatic" result before launching an attack on LCE and its chairman Peter Murray, saying the investment firm had "some serious soul searching to do".

"Over the years, this company and its CEO has cost Penrice a great deal in terms of administrative and legal costs," Mr Trebeck said.

"If they now choose to be constructive and forward looking, well and good.

"Otherwise they might consider selling their shares and moving on to some more rewarding activity for them."

He called for the two strikes rule to be terminated, questioning whether it had served any useful purpose.

Mr Trebeck was also critical of government support for manufacturing, saying there was "unnecessary lead in the saddlebags that is making it harder than it should be for all businesses to adjust" to a higher dollar and changed trading environment.

Penrice will now seek to appoint a non-executive director to its board.