The AMA Group issued a statement this morning where it revealed what appeared to be the existence of “allegations” made against its CEO, Andrew Hopkins.
UPDATE 13:56, 1 February 2021 AEDT: The AMA Group has appointed Carl Bizon, former CEO of Jayco, as Chief Executive Officer, following the resignation of Andrew Hopkins over allegations of unapproved expense claims and bonuses. Hopkins denied the allegations, claiming that they only came about after investor concerns about multi-million-dollar payments linked to AMA director Simon Moore, who is also Senior Partner at private equity firm Colinton Capital Partners. Read the full story here.
UPDATE 16:22, 27 January 2021 AEDT: AMA Group’s share price has plummeted in response to the news of “allegations” against CEO Andrew Hopkins, falling as much as 25.5 per cent to 55 cents in intra-day trading. At the close and after adjustment, the share price was 63.5 cents, a drop of 13.6 per cent.
“In late September 2020, the Board received a protected disclosure from an individual employed by the Company,” AMA Group said in the statement. “On receipt of these allegations, the Company engaged [advisory firm] McGrath Nicol to undertake an independent forensic investigation which has recently completed.”
According to the statement, Hopkins appears to have filed an injunction against the company, stopping it from immediately removing him from his role.
“In the evening of 26 January 2021, Mr Hopkins made an urgent application to the Federal Court of Australia alleging that he is being oppressed as a minority shareholder. The Court made a temporary order that the Company may not dismiss Mr Hopkins from his employment prior to a further hearing on a date which will be fixed for some time next week.”
While AMA Group said it would not comment further while the case continued to be heard by the court, including exactly why it was attempting to have Hopkins removed, it was at pains to reiterate that it was recovering well from the pandemic.
“The Board would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the Company’s three core business units continue to rebound well from the disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic under the capable leadership of the respective division heads, and that the Company will report its first half results to the market next month.”
BodyShop News attempted to contact Hopkins but did not receive a response by the publication deadline. We will update the article if we receive a response.