Business Times

Large shareholders say no shine at Blue Diamond

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

Large shareholders of Blue Diamonds PLC are unhappy with the way the company is being run and is calling to fill the five vacant director positions in the company at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to be held in two weeks. This is in a bid to ensure better management, shareholders said.

“This company has potential to turn around. But not with the current statusquo and through proper shareholder representations at the director level we want to address serious loss of capital in this company, ensure that Annual General Meetings are held within stipulated timelines and conduct a proper analysis and status of affairs at Blue Diamonds," Ruwan Silva, a major shareholder at British American Technologies (BAT) which has 11% in Blue Diamonds, told the Business Times.

He said that BAT has called an EGM on September 15 and they nominated five names for the vacant director's positions. Mr. Silva said that what Blue Diamond lacks right now is direction, the same as e-Channelling in last May (before he acquired major shareholding in it). He has 23% in e-Channelling, which is also the stake that SLIC has in this firm. “We turned e-Channelling around with proper directions together with SLIC around and intend to do the same with Blue Diamonds,” he added. Mr Silva is also a director at e-Channelling.

He noted that during the last three four years, this company was run by a board which wasn’t represented by shareholders. “We see Blue Diamonds as an opportunity where it can turn around with shareholder representation and input.”

The auditors had not expressed an opinion and highlighted services concerns on Blue Diamonds its 2009-2010 financial year which saw a Rs 20 million loss, but the last financial year will see better results, according to officials.

When asked about the vacant director positions, Blue Diamond Chairman Bandula Ranaweera said that the original 12 directors dropped to its current seven last year. "We didn't want to fill the balance positions as we could manage the company with the seven directors,” he said. He said that Blue Diamonds is now starting to get repeat orders from customers and that the company was hit due to the world recession.

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