Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Some new insights at delisting EGM

Removing Charlton from the AIM market was overwhelmingly approved at a thinly attended EGM today. Some new insights were provided about the reasons for the delisting and current developments at the club. I am grateful to Clive Richardson for providing the notes on which this report is based.

The annual cost of AIM listing is £37,000. AIM Listing will remain until 21.9.06 after that, share price and details of the last 5 trades will be available on the website of J P Jenkins at Sellers will be 'matched' with possible buyers by JP Jenkins, but there is no guarantee of a match being found. It was considered that most small shareholders had invested 'heart' money rather than expecting a return on their investment.

CAFC will remain a public company with shareholders and the need to comply with Company regulations- only difference will be that there will be no Stock Exchange tracked market movement. Obligations to shareholders will remain as they are. There will, however, no longer be an obligation to report key business events via the Stock Exchange. It was mentioned that CAFC actually broke the rules by announcing departure of Curbs to fans BEFORE reporting to the SE, and were duly reprimanded!

Disclosure of informtion in future will be at the discretion of directors, who would hope to continue the present policy of 'open-ness', as the Directors are all also fans of the club, rather than JUST investors. Several questions were asked from the floor, including a serious interrogation of the wisdom of de-listing by a guy called Mark Slater, who declared himself as representative of one of the few City investors in CAFC.

Richard Murray and Bob Whitehand both mentioned that there had been zero interest in and/or investment from 'The City' for some considerable time. Mark Slater commented that this was because there had been no direct request for financial 'help' from the City.

An important insight was that Richard Murray explained that the main reason for de-listing was that the Board felt that the published share price (and its fluctuation) was seen as a barrier to possible investors - along with the fact that there would be no dividend return on investment in the forseeable future. (Previous explanations have placed more emphasis on the cost of listing which, as already noted, is not that large). The Club's legal advisor then mentioned that Richard, Bob & co, were often involved in what he called "truffle-hunting" searching/locating/discussing with potential private investors, and had more success with this than by going via the City.

Mr Slater mentioned that there was lots of money potentially available in pension funds , hedge funds and trusts, but Richard voiced the opinion that this raised the danger of attracting the wrong sort of investor - i.e. one without a Charlton 'heart'. Richard Murray indicated that it was not his intention to sell to any overseas investor.

Under any other business it was noted that the East Stand development wont happen until season ticket capacity is full. £11.7m had been spent on transfers at ID's request to make sure the team survives. Bolanos is likely to join a CAFC partner club in Belgium and be bought next summer.

I must say that I was reassured by the explanations given and I think that other Addicks will be as well.


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