Investors renew calls for board overhaul at Nanoco

Nanoco investors demand board overhaul over British firm’s settlement with Samsung – with its co-founder and tech inventor in the firing line

  • Investors led by Tariq Hamoodi want a general meeting to vote on board removal
  • Nanoco said it was reviewing ‘the content and validity’ of the request for a GM
  • But said the proposed board changes were not in the interests of shareholders

Nanoco has rejected fresh calls from a minority shareholder to replace its entire board, arguing it would be ‘damaging and disruptive to the business’.

The shareholder group, led by Tariq Hamoodi, who holds a stake of around 5 per cent Nanoco, has called for a general meeting to vote on the removal of bosses including chief executive Brian Tenner and finance chief Liam Gray.

Also in the firing line is the group’s chief technology officer, who co-founded the company and invented its quantum dot scale-up tech. 

The investor group is unhappy about Nanoco’s settlement with Samsung earlier this year, which it claims was ‘on terms substantially less favourable than its prior statements had led shareholders to believe’.

The investors' group is unhappy about Nanoco's settlement with Samsung earlier this year

The investors’ group is unhappy about Nanoco’s settlement with Samsung earlier this year

Nanoco filed a lawsuit in February 2020 for patent infringement, alleging the South Korean tech giant used its ‘quantum dot’ technology in its TVs without permission.

The pair were due to go to court in Texas but agreed to settle. Samsung last month agreed to pay £123million to Manchester-based Nanoco – far below industry estimates of around £215million.

Hamoodi and the investors group, which had already sent two letters earlier this year, want the entire board of Nanoco to be replaced by new directors.

Nanoco said it was in the process of reviewing ‘the content and validity’ of the requests and would make an announcement regarding a possible general meeting ‘in due course’. 

However, it reiterated that the proposed board changes were not in the interests of the company or its shareholders. 

Christopher Richards, non-executive chairman of Nanoco, said: ‘We continue to emphatically reject Mr Hamoodi’s proposals to change the entirety of the board at such a key point in Nanoco’s evolution. 

‘The Board welcomes scrutiny but his selective interpretation of the past, significant factual errors, and speculative concerns take a number of events out of context to create a misleading narrative.

‘Mr Hamoodi’s proposals would be damaging and disruptive to Nanoco’s future prospects and likely result in an exodus of key talent from the business.’

Nanoco shares were down 3.5 per cent to 18.4p in morning trading on Wednesday.

They have lost almost 60 per cent of their value since the start of the year and are down by around 47 per cent compared to 12 months ago. 

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