A2 Milk was successful in lifting its directors fees at this week's annual meeting, but not without attracting a degree of pushback from shareholders.
The NZ Shareholders Association gave its support to the motion to increase fees by between 27.3 per cent and 37.5 per cent for a2 Milk's chairman, deputy chairman and the company's independent directors.
When it came to the vote at this week's meeting in Melbourne, the support was less than resounding, with 67.4 per cent in favour and 32.6 per cent against.
The NZSA, while supporting the motion, noted the increase put the fees towards the top end of the range.
"There is no doubt that the company has grown and performed well over the past few years," it said.
"Shareholders have had great benefit as a result. In our view, the proposed fees are the top of the scale and unless there are extenuating circumstances, we would not expect the board to come back to shareholders seeking a further increase for at least two years."
NZSA chief executive Michael Midgely said he felt the point had been made.
"The pushback was pretty significant. It really does send out quite a strong message," he told Stock Takes.
"Our message to the company was that they had better not come asking for any more, any time soon," he said.
"People are increasingly concerned about remuneration and I think that, in this way, people can send that message."
The association took a dim view of the motion to elect chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka as managing director because of what it saw as a lack of separation between management and the board, and voted its proxies against it.
But in the end, the motion was carried convincingly with 95.7 per cent support.
It also took a swipe at Hrdlicka's controversial share sales, in September, just two months into the job, which precipitated a sharp fall in the share price, and questioned why the board let the situation arise in the first place. Chairman David Hearn admitted the issue "could have been handled better".
Meanwhile a2 Milk's share price continues to tread a volatile path.
The stock closed at $10.50, having traded through a $7.69 to $14.10 range over the past 12 months.
Weldon exits Geo
Former MediaWorks and NZX chief executive Mark Weldon has finally cut all ties with software company Geo, formerly known as GeoOp, having sold his remaining stock in the company.
After resigning from the board in 2016, Weldon had retained a 2.03 per cent stake in the firm through his investment company Lola Nominees.
Stock Takes understands Lola recently offloaded about 1.6m shares, which would have fetched about $250,000 based on the price the shares have been trading at since September of between 13 and 17c.
Geo chairman Roger Sharp said Weldon has recently repaid a loan that enabled him to acquire 200,000 shares at $1 per share in a private offer prior to the company's listing on the NZ Alternative Index in 2013.
The interest free loan was due to be repaid by September 30 this year, according to a note in Geo's annual report. Sharp said the board's policy was not to comment on individual shareholders.
Geo, which provides cloud-based business productivity software and mobile phone apps, has been a major disappointment since the shares listed.
However, Sharp says the company has gone through significant change under new management and is starting to grow again. After posting an $8.5m loss in the June year, Geo is expecting 30 per cent revenue growth this year and says it's on track to an ebitda break-even run rate by the middle of next year.
Metro Performance Glass shares fell to a record low this week as it signalled a possible competitive threat on the horizon. The new player is looking to enter the NZ glass processing market, with a new plant near Hamilton, it said.
The greenfield development is expected to begin early production in around 18 months.
According to Metro Performance Glass the new plant may be of a broadly similar scale to Metro Glass' Highbrook plant.
Metro Glass, which is due to release its half-year result on Monday, last traded at 59c, having dropped by 36.8 per cent over the past 12 months.