Conroy Gold investor seeks court orders against company
A MINORITY shareholder in a gold mining company has concerns about corporate governance issues including payments of more than €4m to board members over seven years, the High Court has heard.
Patrick O'Sullivan, Howth Road, Dublin, intends to bring proceedings under the Companies Act against Conroy Gold and Natural Resources alleging oppression of him as a shareholder, his counsel Jim O'Callaghan SC said.
The company was established in 1995 by Professor Richard Conroy to find gold deposits in Northern Ireland and Finland and has a nine-member board chaired by Professor Conroy.
Mr O'Sullivan first bought shares in 2009 and now holds a 28pc stake but is not a director. He says he has become frustrated over alleged failure to adhere to "reasonable corporate governance standards, "misallocation of resources", including an "oversized" board, and ratio of board remuneration to operating expenses.
He served a notice in late May to propose resolutions for removal of six directors and their replacement with three different directors to have a more "streamlined" board.
Mr O'Callaghan applied ex parte (one side only represented) to Mr Justice Paul Gilligan on Thursday for interim orders arising from his client's apprehension the board is contemplating measures to dilute the current shareholdings before an extraordinary general meeting on August 4 with a view to defeating his resolutions.
Mr O'Callaghan said letters from William Fry, solicitors for the board, stated his client's concerns were misplaced. The judge said the letters merit clarification. The matter may be resolved on such explanation and, in the circumstances, he would return it to Friday.