Law in practice

2 mins. to read
Law in practice

Law in practice: I was surprised to learn that a major plc could have a memorandum and articles of association which allowed, at least on the face of it, a resolution put to shareholders of one class to be opposed simply on the basis of one vote per shareholder rather than one vote per share. But, for whatever reason, exactly that emerged at Dee Valley Water (LON:DVW).

Here, an employee of that firm, one Huw Cashmore, bought £7,500 worth of DVW shares and transferred 434 shares to colleagues and others such that at the EGM of 12th January 2017, the voting went 362 in favour of the bid from Severn Trent and 466 against. And that was that or so it seemed to me.

However, in the High Court yesterday, the judge decided that the votes against would only count provided it were shown that these ordinary shareholders were voting in the interests of all shareholders as a class. Demonstrably, Mr Cashmore seems to have emerged as merely opposed to Severn Trent on (an undisclosed) principle and not on economic grounds. Therefore the judge came out in favour of Severn Trent.

This case may go on to a higher court as soon as tomorrow. It’s a bit of a cliffhanger. Though why Mr Cashmore should triumph at this level is not obvious.


I rather thought that my item on The Six Hundred Goup plc (LON:SIXH) of 30th January was so compelling that a 10% rise was a gimme. However, there was no effect. I went on buying a few hundred thousand more at around 13p. The supply of stock kept and keeps coming. This surprises me since I cannot work out what the case for selling might be.


Victoria Oil and Gas (LON:VOG) has risen 20p to 56p over the last week. No explanation is provided by the company. Mind you, Andes Energia (LON:AEN) has shown a similarly lively attitude, again with no explanation from the company. These two incidents suggest that there has been a change of sentiment towards junior oils and that therefore one can select the next oily horse simply on the basis that it has not yet moved up. Dangerous, I know. But a very reasonable bet.

I’ve heard it suggested that VOG should bid for or at least combine with Bowleven (LON:BLVN). This would eliminate many common overheads and share Cameroon-attending costs. BLVN (now 33p offer) is of course currently under pressure from some of its shareholders to demonstrate better value for shareholders.


Finally, I have been asked to update my CV (last done in 2004 in connection with my then proposed directorship of Kryso, later China Gold Mining). The trouble is that I cannot find my then submission and I am damned if I can confidently and accurately recall whatever it was that I then submitted. Talk about Anno Domini.

Comments (2)

  • baby_evil says:

    Dear Evil Knievil:

    I was wondering if you may have considered as an investment–

    Aquatic Food Group PLC (LON: AFG)
    Listing Date: 03/02/2015
    Sector: Food Producers

    Market Cap: £17.6m
    Revenue 2015: £102m
    Pre-tax 2015: £18.94m
    Operating Cash Flows 2015: £17.30m
    CAPEX 2011-2015: -£1.48m
    2015: -£0.96m
    Net Tangible Asset Value at 30 June 2016: £67.17m

    It appears to offer a lot of value, for little money.

    Some intelligent advice could come in handy,
    since the Chinese have stung me twice.
    “Once Bitten Twice Shy” (Great White)

    To put everyone at ease, I am neither a stock promoter,
    nor do I work in the City of London.
    I am a regular investor.

    • Simon Cawkwell says:

      I have never studied AFG. But it seems to be a business centred in China. Here I lose interest since the record of fraudulent misrepresentation of stocks based in China is amazing. One reason is the greed of London’s Nomads who grasp at fees even though they must have reservations about their clients. The other is the Chinese belief that if one can get away with absolutely any old garbage one should.

      Given this background one has to be very bold indeed to spend time on these characters. Over to you.

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