Bglobal chairman ousted as investors stage a revolt

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The Independent Online

It was not a week the Kennedy family will want to remember. Peter Kennedy, the executive chairman and founder of the smart meter firm Bglobal, was ousted last week after a revolt by investors over its weak performance and destruction of value.

On both points, Hawkwood Capital, which owns 9.6 per cent of Bglobal, has a case to argue. The Aim-listed company's stock price has tumbled by almost 40 per cent so far this year, and is now a penny-share. Bglobal – which also offers software for utility companies, energy consulting and training for installing smart meters – fell into the red last year amid slumping revenues. The company's value has also been hit by investor sentiment around the Government delaying the installation of smart meters into every UK home until 2020.

At the general meeting on Thursday, 89 per cent of the shareholders – other than Mr Kennedy and his family members – voted to remove him as a director. An even bigger vote was cast to appoint John Gant as a director and chairman.

Worse still for the Kennedys, Peter's son Nick, who was the finance director of Bglobal, was suspended "with immediate effect pending an investigation into his conduct" although the company did not divulge details. It's probably best to avoid the shares until harmony is restored among shareholders and the financial prospects become clearer.