A battle is brewing between executives at Mesa, Ariz.-based American Insulock Inc. and a group of disgruntled shareholders led by the company's former CEO.
The shareholders on Oct. 20 filed a resolution with British Columbia authorities suggesting that American Insulock's board of directors and upper management should be removed from office. The company is traded on the Vancouver-based Canadian National Stock Exchange.
This is the fifth time in the company's 25-year history that its shareholders have attempted a hostile takeover, shareholder and former CEO Enna Keller said in an Oct. 21 telephone interview.
But there could be a problem this time: The document calling for the terminations does not appear to hold any corporate or legal authority.
While trading of American Insulock shares has been suspended and the company is being investigated by the Ontario Securities Commission [American Insulock has a manufacturing partnership with Mississauga, Ontario-based Woodbridge Group], neither action is uncommon for poorly funded small-cap companies that fall behind in regulatory filings.
No one at the securities commission have alleged any violation of law or wrongdoing, Mark Faulkner, the Canadian stock exchange's director of listings and regulations, said in an Oct. 22 telephone interview. There was a cease trade order for failure to file, which is fairly common.
American Insulock is a technology company serving the insulating concrete forms industry. Woodbridge Group makes polyurethane ICFs.
At the core of American Insulock shareholder complaints is the assertion that company officials have done an inadequate job of disclosing company financials and activities through annual general meetings or investor relations.
Despite the shareholders' takeover bid, executives continued to seek investment capital to grow the firm, President Bob Jamieson said in an Oct. 2 interview.
We're working constantly to do the things we need to do to move the company forward, he said. You never know when you might get a beneficiary to step up. Our job is to move forward the best we can under these circumstances.
The vast majority of ICFs are made from two molded panels of expanded polystyrene connected by a web often an injection molded polypropylene part. ICFs are typically about 16 inches tall and about 4 feet wide.
By contrast, Insulock blocks are made from closed-cell PU and are designed to replace the standard gray concrete masonry units in construction applications. Insulock blocks have 5.5-inch round voids that allow them to interlock without the use of mortar.
With ICFs, once the walls are erected, concrete is poured into a mostly hollow center. The concrete and steel reinforcement creates walls that builders estimate could last up to 200 years.
It's not like if this company doesn't make it, you'll never see [this product] again, Jamieson said. This product and technology will eventually surface somewhere. You can't hold down a good idea.
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