Setback for Farooq Khan in bid to oust Nicholas Bolton from Keybridge Capital

Setback for Farooq Khan in bid to oust Nicholas Bolton from Keybridge Capital

Update: Shortly after this article was published, Keybridge announced both shareholder meetings had been postponed until 14 October.

The battle for control of Keybridge Capital (ASX: KBC) is set to heat up next week after the Takeovers Panel yesterday derailed an attempt from one shareholder to raise question marks over the holdings of another.

Farooq Khan's Bentley Capital and Nicholas Bolton's Australian Style Group both own shares in the Perth-based investment house, which has strategic holdings in Yowie Group (ASX: YOW), HHY Fund (ASX: HHY), Molopo Energy Limited (ASX: MPO) and Metgasco Limited (ASX: MEL).

Both these key players have convened meetings to vote on resolutions to remove each other's nominations on the board.

It all began on 5 August with Bentley Capital calling a meeting aimed at removing Australian Style's nominated directors John Patton, Jeremy Kriewaldt, as well as re-electing its own nominated board members William Johnson and Simon Cato.

That meeting is scheduled for 25 September. But in late August, Australian Style responded by calling an earlier meeting on 23 September to vote on getting rid of Johnson and Cato

The acts of one-upsmanship continued, and on 12 September the Takeovers Panel announced Bentley had submitted that Bolton and Australian Style were associated with other Keybridge shareholders in contravention of s606 and the substantial holding provisions.

Bentley calimed these other relevant shareholders had a combined voting power of 40.34 per cent.

The company also sought orders that any Keybridge shares held by or on behalf of the relevant shareholders in excess of 20 per cent be vested in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for sale, and that these shareholders give corrective substantial holding disclosure

"The applicants seek interim orders in effect preventing Bentley Capital and Australian Style from convening their meetings and preventing the Relevant Shareholders from acquiring, disposing, and exercising any voting rights in, Keybridge shares pending determination of this application," the panel said at the time.

Now it appears none of those orders will be happening, after the panel yesterday declined to conduct proceedings.

"The Panel considered that the application raised several matters that, if established, would be of concern," the panel said.

"However, in the unusual circumstances of this matter, the Panel concluded there was no reasonable prospect that it would be in the public interest to make a declaration of unacceptable circumstances."

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