Lighthouse has failed in its attempt to delist from Aim after 53 per cent of shareholders voted against the proposal this week.
Last month, the firm proposed to delist from Aim and move to a public unquoted structure. It required 75 per cent of votes in order to push the motion through but a significant number of shareholders raised concerns about the move.
Lighthouse chairman David Hickey (pictured) says comments by former chief executive and majority shareholder Allan Rosengren influenced some shareholders’ votes. Rosengren has a 14.7 per cent stake in Lighthouse.
Hickey says: “We were surprised at the way the vote went but perhaps we should not have been in light of recent comments by Allan Rosengren. I think it is probably right to say the comments influenced shareholders.”
Last month, Rosengren told the Financial Times: “The board of directors of a business that has gone through the process of becoming quoted and, in doing so, sought external private and institutional investors…owes it to those shareholders to continue to operate as a listed entity, or make a sensible cash offer for their shares.”
Rosengren says his comments did not change shareholders’ minds.
He says: “Shareholders will make their own minds up and draw their own conclusions.”
The Lighthouse board owns about 7 per cent of the firm. About 78 per cent of shareholders took part in the vote.
Shareholders have stopped short of calling for any Lighthouse executives to resign.
Hickey says: “I do not think the board is under any pressure to resign.”
Cavendish Asset Management senior investment manager Paul Mumford, who owns a 5 per cent shareholding in Lighthouse through his Aim fund, says: “The proposal was not thought through properly and was not attractive to shareholders.”