Kirsh fails as Minerva wins vote

Marion Dakers
SOUTH African billionaire Nathan Kirsh has lost his campaign to oust the chief executive and chairman of property developer Minerva, after other investors rejected calls for a boardroom shake-up and greater financial disclosure.

About 64 per cent of Minerva investors voted to keep existing management in place at an extraordinary general meeting yesterday, and Kirsh’s candidates for the roles withdrew their challenge.

This move was the latest chapter of a saga that has included a failed takeover bid and several public spats.

Only 36 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the company revealing details of its financing and profit share agreements. This includes Kirsh’s 29.5 per cent stake.

“The spotlight is now firmly on the management who need to justify the trust shareholders have put in them.

“We remain a committed investor and will continue to take the responsibility of being the company’s largest shareholder very seriously,” Kirsh’s company KiFin said afterwards.

John Matthews, Minerva’s senior independent director, said: “Our priority remains delivery of full value for all shareholders from Minerva’s portfolio of high quality assets. We hope now to do this without further distractions.”