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Better Black Sheep
Latest updates on our campaign to Build a Better Black Sheep
14th November 2022
Andy Slee’s resignation as Chairman
With today’s timely announcement of Andy Slee’s resignation as non-executive chairman of Black Sheep, to move to being CEO of the Society of Independent Brewers (“SIBA”), one third of the necessary removals from the board of our company will, as from 30th November, have been achieved. Thank Heaven for that and good luck SIBA.
I am therefore revising the purpose of my call to requisition an EGM to just seeking the removal of Rob and Jo Theakston as directors and employees of Black Sheep. For the sake of all of Black Sheep’s stakeholders and the very survival of our Company, this needs to be achieved as soon as possible, so please urgently let me have your support to call an EGM.
Thank you. David Nabarro
And they couldn’t even manage a piss-up in their own brewery!
You just can’t believe it!
In fact, it would be surreally funny if it were not so terribly sad.
On the morning of 8th October 2022, our Brewery’s utterly hopeless management e-mailed all shareholders saying
"All are welcome to our all-day affair on Saturday September 17th"
and it took them 25 hours and 59 minutes to correct this howler of a mistake and realise their own party was last Saturday 22nd October!
No attention to detail. No professionalism. No clue.
Are these really the people we all want to be managing our continually loss-making business?
I think not.
If you agree with me, please respond by e-mail as soon as possible to email@example.com, pledging your voting support to requisition an EGM to dismiss Andy Slee, Rob Theakston and Jo Theakston. Thank you.
Black Sheep’s bottling, canning and kegging facility at Fearby Road
With the “cost of living crisis” making trading so difficult for all UK brewers at the moment, and I suspect Black Sheep currently brewing at little more than 50% of capacity, you would think our brewery would be urgently seeking to generate much needed additional revenues by offering its bottling, canning and kegging services to other third-party breweries.
Sadly, we cannot, because despite all the time and expenditure spent and additional debt accrued, developing our Fearby Road packaging plant, its management, which was until recently led by Rob Theakston, failed to obtain the necessary legal and regulatory approvals for Black Sheep to be able to offer third-party packaging services, and now apparently, Black Sheep is itself having to put out some of its own bottling and canning to another local brewer,
because our machine keeps breaking down!
You just couldn’t invent it, but, with yet another failure on his watch, Rob continues to be called “Managing Director” and retain his board seat. An absolute disgrace.
Results of the AGM on Thursday 24th September 2022
Though it took an unusual six (6) days to announce the results of voting for the resolutions put forward at the most recent AGM, including Resolutions 4, 5 and 6 for the re-elections as directors of Black Sheep Brewery PLC (“Black Sheep”) of Jonathan Theakston (“Jo”), Robert Theakston (“Rob”) and Andy Slee (“Andy”), and more votes were cast against the re-elections of Rob and Jo than any other resolution, sadly, all three of them were re-elected with formidable majorities.
Given these three’s record of consistently long-term mismanagement, destruction of shareholders capital and putting the retention of their own jobs ahead of the best interests of all of Black Sheep’s other stakeholders, resulting in our Company’s current sad state, the almost surreal voting results reminded me of nothing so much as the similarly ludicrous results announced last week for the annexation of four Ukrainian territories into greater Russia!
Those shareholders, including doubtless Rob and Jo’s father Paul, voting to support persistent failure appear to me to be both stupid and irresponsible.
Review of the Report & Accounts to 31st March 2022
Further to my recent letter to Black Sheep shareholders dated 21st September (available on this www.buildingabetterblacksheep.com web-site), I now attach my analysis of the most recent.
Report & Accounts to 31st March 2022.
WARNING - Those of a sensitive disposition should first sit down, take a deep breath and probably a stiff whisky (stronger than beer!) before reading my conclusions! These latest Black Sheep Accounts indeed make very depressing reading.
Expressing concern to the Financial Conduct Authority
As reported in my letter to fellow shareholders of 21st September, I recently expressed my concern to the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), that the Black Sheep Board, and particularly Andy as chairman, have actively colluded in creating a false market in Black Sheep’s shares, by several times in recent years allowing long periods of time to pass between providing shareholders with up to date financial information upon which they could make informed and rational decisions as to whether to buy, hold or sell shares in Black Sheep, while simultaneously enabling a quarterly matched bargains facility in Black Sheep’s shares on the Asset Match platform.
The FCA have advised me they have passed on my concerns to their Markets Abuse team and recommended I also share my concerns with the FCA regulated Asset Match Limited, and this I have now done.
Campaign for Real Ale
The Campaign for Real Ale (“CAMRA”), an excellent organisation and friend to all beer drinkers, has been a long-term supporter and shareholder in Black Sheep. I believe that CAMRA is by a significant margin Black Sheep’s largest shareholder, currently owning circa 331,637 Ordinary shares, representing 13.64% of our Company’s issued equity.
With Black Sheep’s current indicative share price on the Asset Match matched-bargains platform at a thirty year low of £1.15, CAMRA must be showing a significant loss on their investment and may now rue their decision to invest.
I have therefore recently written to Nik Antona, CAMRA’s chairman, expressing concern that in maintaining support for Andy, Rob and Jo, CAMRA is unwittingly destroying our much loved Company and our iconic Black Sheep brand, and I have invited CAMRA to work in partnership with our www.buildingabetterblacksheep.com campaign to effect radical change at Black Sheep in the best interests of all of its long-suffering stakeholders. I will keep you abreast of their response.
The Three Real Problems
Once you’ve digested my letter to fellow shareholders of 21st September and my analysis of the latest 2022 Report & Accounts, you will likely conclude, if indeed you’ld not already done so, that Black Sheep is in desperate straits and needs immediate and radical board-room CHANGE if it is even to survive, yet alone prosper. In essence the long-term members of Black Sheep’s current Board, Andy, Rob, and Jo, have put their own selfish interests ahead of the best interests of our Company’s stakeholders by irresponsibly refusing to raise fresh equity moneys, when interest rates were low, stock markets were booming and consumer confidence was high, for fear of losing their ill-deserved jobs. Black Sheep desperately needs new equity moneys, and in my view, our Company’s failure to make progress with new funding over the last year despite Charlene’s promises, demonstrates clearly that Andy, Rob, and Jo are simply
Urgent Change required
Black Sheep urgently needs a restructured Board, with at least two new, experienced, and independent-minded non-executive directors who will both challenge and support Charlene Lyons as CEO and John Hunt as CFO, to adopt fresh direction and broader perspective to enable Black Sheep to raise substantial new equity moneys, at a sensible price, based on a new and credible business plan.
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