Simon Robertson has resigned as chair and as an independent director of Synlait.
Independent director Paul McGilvary has been elected acting chair until the position is permanently filled. He was elected with the full support of the board.
Synlait’s nominations sub-committee has begun the search for an independent director to fill the vacancy.
The board expects the new independent director will be suitable to be appointed as chair.
McGilvary said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Simon for his contribution to Synlait. We wish Simon well with his future endeavours.”
Robertson’s resignation is effective immediately.
It comes after the company entered into mediation with the a2 Milk Company over the cancellation of its exclusive manufacturing and supply rights agreement in early October.
Synlait also posted its second financial loss in the past three years when it announced its 2023 annual result in late September, with six out of seven key metrics going downwards and the only increase being debt, which was up 21%.
Losses and reductions were reported in revenue, down 3%, a net loss after tax of $4.3 million, earnings down 3%, gross profit down 2%, operating cash flow down 83% and capital expenditure down 31%.
The loss compared to a profit of $38.5m in FY22 and was the second loss in the past three years.
Synlait’s constitution requires it to have three independent directors. Pending appointment of a new independent director, the constitution contemplates a situation where there may not be three independent directors in office.
In those circumstances, the constitution requires that one Bright Dairy director abstains from voting on all resolutions put to a vote at a meeting of the board until a third independent director is appointed to fill the vacancy.
The board confirms that one Bright director will abstain from voting on all resolutions with immediate effect until the vacancy is filled.