The former CEO and founder at Abcam (ABC) is planning to call an EGM to replace the Chairman. He has published an open letter to shareholders which spells out the reasons – see https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2023/05/17/2671109/0/en/Jonathan-Milner-Announces-That-He-is-Taking-Steps-to-Call-an-Extraordinary-General-Meeting-of-Abcam-Shareholders.html
My comment is the sooner the better. His letter is a very good summary of where Abcam has gone wrong recently. I hope shareholders will support him.
I purchased Abcam shares in 2006 soon after the company listed on AIM in 2005. I still have my analysis of the shares made at the time which included a cash return on capital of 78% and a prospective p/e of 22. Revenue was growing at a fast pace and all went well under the leadership of Jonathan Milner as CEO for several years.
But even before he stepped down in 2020 the business was clearly in some difficulties. I commented on this blog negatively about the large expenses on new IT systems (which was capitalised) and very generous remuneration schemes. I could not get my reasonable questions answered by the Chairman at the AGMs I attended and subsequently voted against him.
You can search this blog for the past articles on Abcam which reinforce what Mr Milner is saying.
But the last straw was the delisting from AIM and the move to NASDAQ in 2022. As Mr Milner points out, this was pointless and has not benefited shareholders. I sold most of my shares starting in 2020 and the balance only recently – overall return of about 30% per annum since 2006. But the recent financial figures have been disappointing with margins declining and way too many adjustments.
The conversion of Abcam shares to ADRs for the NASDAQ listing may help to frustrate the calling and voting at an EGM.
Mr Milner says the current Chairman is weak – I agree. He needs to go with a refreshed board put in place.
Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson )
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