Pirc asks for Betfair investor veto

Alan MacDougall – Pirc Managing Director

Shareholder and corporate governance adviser Pirc has recommended that Betfair investor’s reject the operators interim report and accounts at the upcoming general meeting (Thursday 4 September).

Pirc management recommended these actions after The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) had called for a review of Betfair auditing and corporate governance, following several breaches of dividend misconduct over the past three years

Betfair were found to have breached accounting rules by paying dividends to shareholders with having sufficient distributable reserves.

Alan MacDougall, Pirc’s managing director, said: “Pirc notes that shareholders have been asked in prior years to vote on the payment of dividends that in fact were illegal due to defective accounts.

That makes the validity of the company’s accounts themselves questionable as the key source of information for shareholders at the AGM to exercise class rights. Accordingly Pirc is recommending a ‘no’ vote on a resolution to accept the entire annual report.

Betfair management issued a statement retorting Pircs recommendations to investors. The operator claimed that Pirc were “materially misrepresenting the facts”, and that the advisor were over publicising a mere technical violation committed by the operator.

Betfair finishes its statement, by claiming that Pircs actions has gained little to no traction with Betfair shareholders. The Betfair general meeting will go ahead as planned on Thursday 4 September.

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