6 questions asked at 2024 Ampol hybrid AGM

May 20, 2024

Here is the text of the 6 questions asked at 2024 Ampol hybrid AGM held on May 9 in Sydney, along with a summary of the answers and some video grabs via Twitter. Watch the webcast archive of the 75 minute meeting. There were no material protest votes.

Q1. The 8 people in our executive leadership team and the 8 non-executive directors all appear to be white Anglo-Saxons. Diversity is much more than gender, so when is the top table at Ampol going to include some skillful and merit worthy people of colour or from different ethnic, cultural or religious backgrounds? Does the chair agree this is lack of diversity is an unusual feature of Ampol's mono-cultural leadership team and that it needs to be addressed over time to better reflect the communities you serve?

Answer: The chair claimed this is normal when it is not. Expect to see some movement over the next 12 months. Watch video of exchange via Twitter.

Q2. Our chair Steven Gregg last year achieved the rare feat of being poached from outside to become chair of Westpac, despite not even being on the board at the time. What is the current state of dealings between Westpac and Ampol and is that likely to change? Which of the Big Four has our biggest relationship and has the chair spoken to the CEO and CFO about the protocols in which Westpac dealings are to be handled going forward?

Answer: Chair Steven Gregg doesn't tend to give long answers and this one was brief and to the point saying that Westpac was one of many bankers to Ampol and he would have no involvement going forward. Watch video of exchange via Twitter.

Q3. Viva bought OTR for $1.2b last year. When 7-11 was put up for sale, the Japanese parent was successful with a $1.7b bid. Even when Coles Express put its fuel business up for sale last year, Viva also won that auction with a $300m bid. When Woolworths exited fuel in 2019, it was UK group EG, owned by the Issa brothers, which won that auction paying $1.72b. The brothers are now splitting & EG is offloading its Australian business. Are we even going to try & win this auction or have we given up on successful Australian M&A?

Answer: Chair Steven Gregg talked up how disciplined Ampol was on M&A and said the Z acquisition in New Zealand a couple of years earlier had performed well. However, he stuck to the usual script about not commenting on speculation. Watch video of exchange via Twitter.

Q4. Could the CEO summarise his past LTI grants since he joined in 2019 as to whether they have vested or lapsed. Also, has he ever sold any ordinary shares in the company or bought any on market without relying on an incentive scheme to build his equity position in the company? Please don't say look it up in the annual report and through ASX announcements. It's complicated and the CEO could factually summarise the situation in 60 seconds.

Answer: CEO Matt Halliday gave an excellent response explaining that he's had 3 vesting experiences, running at 13%, 21% and 98%. He's also never sold a share and twice bought on market, which is a good thing. Watch video of exchange via Twitter.

Q5. Australia is currently in the midst of an unprecedented deluge of takeovers. There have been 7 major takeovers completed this year with another 18 deals announced. The ASX is losing long standing names such as CSR, Boral, Blackmores, Alumina, Invocare, Newcrest, Crown & Ausnet. There is a clear mis-pricing between public & private markets. Why are public markets not valuing ASX listed companies like ours more highly & what are we doing to avoid being gobbled up? Does the chair agree this is a problem for the nation?

Answer: The chair said he believed the stock was under-valued and joked that he wanted me to buy more shares (there are only 4 in the portfolio at the moment) but then said they work very hard on investor relations. Watch video of exchange via Twitter.

Q6. Why don't we disclose the proxy position to the ASX along with the formal addresses, disclose the voting outcome by both shares and shareholders and then publish a full transcript of the AGM, not just a webcast. Many companies do all of this but you do none, despite written requests to get with the program. Without committing to which of these disclosure initiatives you'll embrace, will the chair commit to adopting at least one of them at the 2025 AGM. Also, thanks for the hybrid format and for following the agenda, rather than just offering one opportunity for questions as the likes of Macquarie, QBE and Rio Tinto do.

Answer: The chair ignored the transcript and head count disclosure components and only focused on early proxy disclosure. He ignored the subtlety that you can both disclose to the ASX with the formal addresses whilst not "putting them up" at the meeting before the debate. Surely he'll have to move on one of these before next year's meeting. Watch video of exchange via Twitter.