PaperlinX’s Boon survives chairmanship challenge

PaperlinX chairman Harry Boon has survived a bid for his removal by the company’s biggest shareholder.

“As a result of voting at today’s general meeting of shareholders, there has been no change in the composition of board of directors,” PaperlinX said in a statement.

Orbis Investment Management, the company’s biggest shareholder, managing 18.29% of PaperlinX, supported challenger Andrew Price’s bid for the chairmanship, the Australian Financial Review reported today.

Orbis CEO Simon Marais said he had nothing against Boon.

“We felt the CEO is not the right person for the role … but we can’t replace him. The shareholders only get to vote on the board,” Marais told LeadingCompany today.

The margin was close: 51.84% of shareholders voted against a resolution to remove Boon as a director of PaperlinX, and 48.16% voted in favour.

Boon successfully transformed debt-ridden Pacific Dunlop into condom and glove-making success story Ansell, and has been chairman of the paper giant for the last four years.

Price is a successful paper executive who has agitated for change – even putting his money where his mouth is by personally buying $480,000 worth of shares.

“We are here today because I believe a great company is being destroyed,” Price told AAP. “I have listened to excuses year after year.”

Paperlinx is a Melbourne-based, global paper giant operating all over the world. Its share price has plunged from $4 down to just 12 cents in the last seven years, prompting many shareholders to call for urgent change.

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