MMA Offshore facing shareholder revolt led by Michael Kum’s Halom Investments

MMA Offshore facing shareholder revolt led by Michael Kum’s Halom Investments

MMA Offshore’s largest shareholder Halom Investments, led by Singaporean OSV stalwart Michael Kum, is calling for the removal of the Australian company’s CEO Jeff Weber and chairman Tony Howarth.

Halom has gone to the trouble of building the website Change for MMA to push for management change at the company after a Members’ Statement sent to the company last month calling for the same was ignored.

Halom wants to replace Weber and Howarth with new boardmembers. It is nominating prominent Singapore lawyer Haridass Ajaib and former MMA non-executive director Jeffrey Mews.

“On 20 September 2017, Halom wrote to MMA’s Board proposing removal and replacement of two Board Members, the CEO Jeff Weber and the Chairman Tony Howarth. To Halom’s disappointment, MMA did not disclose the Member’s Statement from Halom to all shareholders outlining our concerns, as part of its 25 September 2017 ASX announcement,” states the Change for MMA site.

Halom says it has become concerned with the direction of MMA under current stewardship and believes change is required to salvage the company from its unsustainable capital structure, promote a new strategic vision and restore value for shareholders.

A long list of concerns outlined by Halom including unsustainable debt levels, vessel write-downs, a decline in market capitalisation from $951m to $69m and a likelihood the company will run out of cash. It had just $19m of unrestricted cash as of June 2017 with an estimated annual cash burn of $22m.

MMA’s poorly timed $550m acquisition of Jaya Holdings at the top of the cycle was also cited. Since the Jaya acquisition in 2014, Weber has received $5.1m in total compensation while company losses have totalled $519m.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.

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