Cameron happy with Bellamy’s spill

01 Mar, 2017 10:24 AM
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Jan Cameron: Bellamy's board changes a win for shareholders and the company.
I think the [former] board has fallen down on being able to make good commercial decisions.
Jan Cameron: Bellamy's board changes a win for shareholders and the company.

Retail queen Jan Cameron says her spill of the Bellamy's Australia board will be good for the troubled baby formula maker and has put it on notice that she expects a quick turnaround.

"It's a win for shareholders and the company. It's the basis for renewal and change, cultural change in the company, and I'm very happy with the outcome," Ms Cameron said.

"I think the [former] board has fallen down on being able to make good commercial decisions."

A new plan, she said, "needs to be set in place within the month."

Bellamy's extraordinary general meeting in Melbourne to vote on the push by disaffected shareholder Ms Cameron to replace the four independent directors with her own nominees was a fiery affair.

While proxies rejected Ms Cameron's bid for a board seat, they voted in favour of Chan Wai-Chan and Sydney lawyer Rodd Peters becoming directors.

Her bid to replace Patria Mann failed, although Michael Wadley and Charles Sitch were both voted off the board.

Mr Wadley served as interim chairman of the meeting after chairman Rob Woolley resigned before it started.

Director Launa Inman also resigned.

Former CEO Laura McBain told media she would "do some gardening".

Mr Woolley, who did not attend the meeting, said the company could recover and grow.

"I am of a firm view that Bellamy's is and can remain a strong and viable company and brand," he said.

Despite failing to secure a board seat herself, Ms Cameron, co-founder of Kathmandu retail chain, said she was not unhappy at the outcome.

Bellamy's earlier told the market that in order to sell to China, it would need to be registered with the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) from January 1, 2018.

With Bega Cheese announcing this week it will sell its infant formula finishing plant at Derrimut in Victoria, Bellamy's told the market it "may need to seek CFDA registration discussion with other manufacturers, as well as Bega".

Tasmania-based Bellamy's was once a market darling thanks to strong demand from Chinese people wary of local dairy products and keen on organic products.

After trading as high as $16.50 about in late 2015, its shares have crashed to $4.27 and remain in a trading halt.

SMH

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