Minority shareholder seeks SEC intervention: Controversy Over MTD Walkers AGM
By Anjali Caldera
MTD Walkers PLC’s second largest minority shareholder Udaya Thuduwewatte accused MTD Walkers Malaysian ownership of conducting their Annual General Meeting (AGM) online yesterday illegally, with no notice being issued to its minor shareholders.
In a letter drafted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Sri Lanka, Director General, Thuduwewatte, also the third largest shareholder of the company, complained, that he and many other minority shareholders were not informed of nor was a Zoom link sent to them to connect to the meeting.
It was reported, the AGM has concluded before any minority shareholder could raise any questions about the termination of the sales and purchase agreement with the latest investor Lakma Holdings and the circumstances under which they were terminated.
According to Thuduwewatte, this is the only platform for minority shareholders to voice their concerns. Thus, he considers this act of depriving them of the chance to share their views as a violation of the rights of minority shareholders.
Reliable sources have revealed that the Company Secretary has refused to give access to minority shareholders. During question time, the sound was mysteriously turned off or turned down and none of the participants could hear the AGM proceedings.
At first the sound of the Chairman from Malaysia, Dato Nick Faizul was heard requesting approval of the company accounts for the year 18-19, but it was not possible to even to raise an objection to the approval of the accounts until the SEC special inquiry/audit is completed, the sources said. Later, rather than the Chairman of MTD Capital and MTD Walkers conducting the meeting, he allowed newly appointed Director Jehan Amaratunge, who was sidelined during the last few months by Malaysian Principals, to take over the meeting.
The sources suspect that a moderator was hired, spending quite a sum by this company, who may have been very well coached to complete the AGM within 20 minutes. “We have invested our personal savings in the shares of the above company and feel that we are completely cheated. Maybe MTD Capital was asking for Shylock’s pound of flesh from investors,” Thuduwewatte said.
In the letter Thuduwewatte requested the SEC Director General to take actions in this regard and to take necessary action to protect public investments in MTD Walkers PLC.
The sources also said the minority shareholders have decided to form an Association of Minority Shareholders of MTD Walkers with a view to safeguard their rights because the Principal shareholder has terminated the sales and purchase agreement of four investors.