Whether to grow through acquisition or to focus on existing clients was the boiled-down question put to shareholders at the meeting as they voted for a new board of directors. The answer after tallying the results showed 58 per cent of the votes cast favoured IDC management’s slate of five directors who believe focusing on existing business is the best way to grow the company.
Adam Adamou, IDC’s former chairman and leader of a campaign advocating the need for change, had also proposed a list of five directors who were not printed in the circular and whose names were only read aloud by Mr. Adamou during the nomination period of the meeting.
Regardless of the result, the company must now focus on its future, said president and CEO Frederick Godard.
“There’s no winner today,” he said. “There won’t be a winner until the stock price is much higher than it is today.”
Currently, IDC’s stock sells at 22 cents a share on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Only 69 per cent of all company shares were accounted for during the vote, and after the meeting was over Mr. Adamou said he was disappointed and argued the victory for IDC’s management was not a clear one.
Many of the smaller shareholders voted for him, and it was predominantly the large insiders who voted for the status quo, said Mr. Adamou, who also owns Caseridge Capital Corp.
If IDC had excluded the large insider shareholders from the vote, Mr. Adamou said the result may have been different.
“I fought for this on behalf of shareholders,” he said. “They begged me to give them an option.”
The campaign cost Mr. Adamou $10,000 and allowed his slate to secure almost a third of shareholder votes with nothing more than “a Twitter account, a LinkedIn account and a camera.”
The meeting was attended by around 100 shareholders and guests and hosted in a conference room, watched over by two security guards, at the Holiday Inn & Suites Kanata.
One of the names previously on IDC management’s roster was Francesco Ruffalo, the largest investor in the company with 10 per cent of its shares. But Mr. Ruffolo withdrew his name earlier this month due to protest from Mr. Adamou, and his name was replaced with March Networks CEO Peter Strom, who will now be a director on the company’s board as a result of Tuesday’s vote.
Mr. Strom said he was socially acquainted with Mr. Godard before IDC asked him to come on board, and that his new role won’t impact March Networks. He added that there is potential for “synergies” down the road between the two companies.
Mr. Godard delivered a presentation following the vote discussing the company’s desire to expand into Asia-Pacific countries, including India and the Philippines, as well as marketing two new products released earlier this year: the IDC Laser, which allows companies to air different ads to different regions during television time slots, and Digital Tattoo, which allows satellite companies to offer full services to multi-dwelling units.
As the meeting drew to a close, shareholder Mark Clarke presented a bottle of champagne to each Mr. Adamou and Mr. Godard.
“Can we please get on with building the business one way or another?” he asked.
Earlier this month, Mr. Adamou released a dissident circular proxy calling the business’ strategy “incoherent” and its board “dysfunctional.”
This launched a series of press releases in which IDC attempted to discount Mr. Adamou’s statements, maintaining that his strategy of growing via acquisitions had been previously tried within the company and failed.
In its most recent quarterly results, IDC showed a net loss of $207,203, down 59 per cent from a loss of $510,512 the year before. Revenue increased 16 per cent to $9.7 million in the same time period.
IDC advertises its business as a digital content distributor for broadcasters for digital cinema, radio, data and television, and has 100 local workers, according to Ottawa Technology magazine.
IDC management’s slate of proposed directors:
Georges Ata (president and CEO of Intelcan Technosystems Inc.)
Frederick Godard (president and CEO of IDC)
Delbert Lippert (president and CEO of Med-Eng Systems before retiring in 2006)
Graham McBride (president of LarchHill Capital Inc.)
Peter Strom (president and CEO of March Networks)
Mr. Adamou’s slate of proposed directors:
Adam Adamou (former chairman; owner of Caseridge Capital Corp.)
Frederick Godard (president and CEO of IDC)
James Hall (IDC director and chairman of IDC’s audit committee)
Eric Apps (former CEO of Angoss Software Corp.)
Robert Mimeault (managing partner at Q5 Group Inc.)