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Leighton board backs major shareholder

Leighton‘s (ASX: LEI) board is on board with its major shareholder, according to a company statement (link opens a PDF) released Monday. This latest news follows three weeks after the surprise resignations of the company’s chairman and two directors in the wake of a dispute with majority shareholder HOCHTIEF.

A March 24 letter from HOCHTIEF (see statement) discusses the shareholder’s disappointment with Leighton management’s mismanagement of the process for appointing new management. At the same time, Leighton’s (now former) Chairman Stephen Johns accused the German construction company of interfering with the appointment of a new independent director.

According to the most recent press release, Leighton’s board endorsed HOCHTIEF’s letter and the “existing non-binding protocols that govern the relationship between [Leighton] and its major shareholder, HOCHTIEF.”

Newly appointed interim Chairman Bob Humphris noted that he and his Board are confident that HOCHTIEF “sees value for itself and all shareholders in continuing to endorse the government protocols that have worked so successfully over a long period of time.”

With this latest statement, Leighton is undoubtedly hoping to officially close the book on this corporate nightmare chapter by shunning its past leaders and unequivocally aligning itself with shareholders.

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