Zespri clarifies voting confidentiality clauses

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Zespri clarifies voting confidentiality clauses

New Zealand kiwifruit exporter Zespri has defended itself following reports of proxy vote misuse, highlighting the company's constitutional changes that took place in 2009.

A story published by the New Zealand Business Review this month outlined the details of a case involving Zespri and some board members allegedly using confidential shareholder voting information before an AGM in 2008.

After the story came to light, the country's Independent Kiwifruit Growers Association (IKGA) called for an independent enquiry into the matter, urging the full report on the issue be made public.

But a Zespri spokesperson has told freshfruitportal.com the company has made the issue 'well-canvassed' with shareholders since 2008, taking steps to stop a similar incident happening again in the future.

"The incident was investigated by the Board in 2008 and it was found that although the action was not contrary to the Companies Act 1993 or Company Constitution it was in contravention of a Confidentiality Agreement between ZESPRI and its share registrar," the spokesperson said.

"In 2009 clauses were added to the ZESPRI Group constitution to ensure that no voting or proxy information is received by directors or employees prior to the shareholder meeting, and that individual voting preferences are not available to directors after any such meeting.

"Prior to subsequent Annual General Meetings a statutory declaration has been made by our share registrar to confirm that no voting or proxy information has been made available in line with the confidentiality agreement."

Related story: Zespri hit with proxy vote misuse allegations

Photo: Zespri

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

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