AWB August 2008 EGM

December 4, 2008

The AWB EGM in Melbourne on August 21, 2008.

All the action from AWB

I had to go to Shepparton for a speech last night so apologies for the delay in reporting back on yesterday's remarkable AWB EGM.

Check out this initial account in today's Crikey edition.

Whilst the AWB board have pushed the envelope by extending voting until September 3, we've never before seen such a tight vote on such a vital issue from such a small turn out of just 27%.

It wasn't clear how many shares would have been voted at the meeting or which way the open proxies would have gone but this is how the farmer votes were positioned, remembering that success required a 75% super-majority;

For: 10,346

Against: 3,968

Open: 1,485

The directed proxies in favour were 72.28% against when excluding the open proxies but rose to 74.88% when including all the open proxies, so it might have been that there were a few open proxies not with the chairman that led to the public figure of 74.7%.

That said, there are more than 18,000 different farmer shareholders who control about 58,000 votes so both sides will now be chasing the 40,000-plus votes that haven't yet been cast.

Based on the ineptitude of the no case yesterday, it's hard to see them generating much more support but this fight won't be over until the fat lady sings and any subsequent court challenges have been defeated. Once that happens, AWB shares will start to rise as institutional shareholders get back on board.

Also, see Crikey report.