AMA (ASX:AMA) share price rises as former CEO chased for $1 million

The AMA share price is up today amongst dramas related to the sacking of previous chief executive Andy Hopkins.

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Businessman walks through exit door signalling resignation

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The AMA Group Ltd (ASX: AMA) share price opened more than 2% higher today before dipping slightly to its current level of 64 cents.

The jump follows news that the company is seeking to recover $1 million from former chief executive Andy Hopkins who was sacked last week.

AMA Group focuses on the wholesale vehicle aftercare and accessories sector, including vehicle panel repair, vehicle protection products and accessories, automotive electrical and cable accessories, automotive component remanufacturing and workshop and performance products.

What’s been moving the AMA share price?

Yesterday, the AMA share price dropped roughly 1.5% after the company announced the appointment of Carl Bizon as the group’s new chief executive officer. Mr Bizon will receive a base salary of $900,000.

When the board initially moved to terminate Andy Hopkins’ appointment last week, Mr Hopkins resigned. He maintains his position as a board director, despite AMA attempting to remove him.

AMA Group alleges that Mr Hopkins misused his corporate expense account. Following an internal investigation, the board believes that the Mr Hopkins accepted payments without board approval.

In the same release announcing the new CEO, AMA reiterated its demand that Mr Hopkins resign from the board. The announcement states:

Having resigned as Chief Executive Officer on 31 January 2021, and under the terms of Mr Hopkins’ employment contract, Mr Hopkins is required to immediately resign from the Board of the Company. The Board expects to receive notice of his resignation from the Board forthwith.

The third largest shareholder of AMA denies wrongdoing

Mr Hopkins is the third-biggest shareholder of AMA. As reported by The Australian, he denies any wrongdoing and claims that fellow director Simon Moore has it out for him.

Mr Moore owns a capital investment firm, Colinton Capital, that once sought $4 million in advisory fees from AMA. Mr Hopkins claims this unresolved issue is behind the board’s allegations and his dismissal.

Over the past two days, the company has announced two new substantial shareholders. The first was Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and the second CI Investments Inc.

With these holders now in possession of a voting power above 5%, they will both also have a future say in the direction pursued by the board to recoup the $1 million it believes it is owed from Mr Hopkins.

The AMA share price has crashed more than 30% over the past year.

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Motley Fool contributor Gretchen Kennedy has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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