The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) is calling for ‘new independent directors’ to be appointed at quoted bookmaker Betfair (BET) to address ‘significant governance and oversight failures’ and the payment of ‘illegal dividends’.
Chairman Gerald Corbett and other directors could face awkward questions at the annual general meeting (AGM) on 4 September. The company admitted in its annual report that its 2011 final dividend and the interim and final dividends for 2012 and 2013 were paid erroneously since, by law, the company did not have ‘sufficient distributable reserves’ to fund the payouts (worth a cumulative £60 million).
The purchase of 6.5 million shares at its year end in April 2012 should also not have gone ahead for the same reason. Shareholders are being asked to approve a resolution at the upcoming AGM to allow the company to go to court in order to reduce its share capital and ‘regularise the situation’.