Nanoco responds to further claims from disgruntled shareholder

Directors of Runcorn-based Nanoco have rejected further claims from a disgruntled shareholder and vowed to continue in post.

The University of Manchester spin-out, which develops materials used in the manufacture of monitors and TV screens, is the target of a shareholder group, led by Tariq Hamoodi, which claims the company gave misleading information relating to settlement prospects in its intellectual property litigation with Samsung.

The company achieved a $150m payout from Samsung in February, which was criticised in some quarters as below forecasts. Nanoco will retain around $90m after litigation costs.

The shareholder group wants chief executive Brian Tenner and chief financial officer Liam Gray to step down.

In a statement to the stock exchange today (May 19), Nanoco responded to a second letter circulated to its shareholders by Mr Hamoodi.

Nanoco said it has sought to engage with Mr Hamoodi, including responding to his initial letter.

And it said its board continues to emphatically reject Mr Hamoodi’s “speculative concerns about certain actions and activities involving Nanoco, and does not believe the proposed board changes are in the best interests of shareholders”.

The statement said, as previously announced, the directors of Nanoco have no intention of stepping down from the board and are confident the board’s actions and statements over the period of the Samsung litigation were in line with its corporate governance duties, obligations and standards.

Christopher Richards, non-executive chairman of Nanoco, said “We continue to emphatically reject Mr Hamoodi’s speculative concerns.

“The board welcomes scrutiny, but his misinterpretation of the past, and consciously selective and factually inaccurate disclosure, including the publication of heavily edited videos, presents a number of events out of context to create a false narrative to mislead our shareholders.

“The proposed board changes are not in the best interests of the company or its shareholders, and would give undue influence to a disgruntled minority shareholder. Nanoco is at an exciting inflection point, with the litigation proceeds fully underpinning our organic business which has significant growth opportunities.

“Mr Hamoodi’s proposals would be damaging and disruptive to Nanoco’s future prospects and, if successful, would result in an exodus of key talent from the business.”