The appointment of ‘Team Pocock’ within a few months of him taking charge, exactly the same collection of individuals who repeatedly work together on other company “re-structurings” - such as Polaroid with its infamous sale to convicted Ponzi scheme fraudster which had netted them a combined total of nearly $15 million.
The expulsion of three of the most senior, long-standing and influential executives of Yellowbook USA, against a background of allegations that they had been conspiring to act in a way that was against the best interests of the company. And their subsequent replacement by members of team Pocock!
Substantial potential offers for Yellowbook USA, offers which never found their way into the public domain despite the company being “financially stretched”.
More than 50 million share options (with a zero pence exercise price) being granted to Yell/hibu’s two top executives within 12 months of them taking office, all apparently sacrificed in October 2012 for “nil consideration”… but in exchange for a new ‘cash bonus incentive scheme’ reserved for the Executives and some senior managers.
Numerous misleading, contradictory and over-optimistic statements made by Pocock and Wigley in various RNS’s and annual reports right up to July 2012, which disguised the dire position that shareholders were facing.
The bizarre decision to rename Yell (with its instantly recognisable Yellow pages brand) to Hibu (which nobody has ever heard of let alone knows how to pronounce!), thereby sacrificing the immense value attributed to the brand name itself.
The complete failure of Pocock to “communicate” with shareholders in any way despite his promise to do so on 25 July 2012, leading to the conclusion that he did not in fact consider us to be stakeholders at all.
Invesco selling their entire 25% shareholding at an incredible rate of knots 17 days before the company advised other shareholders of even the possibility that some restructuring options were being considered which “might leave the shares with little or no value”.
Steps taken by the Board to ensure that Directors’ contracts were moved in October 2012 to a subsidiary, so that they continued to be paid, a full nine months before shareholders were officially wiped out. And all without any supporting RNS.
The decision to suspend debt repayments in March 2013, although the cash was still readily available to meet them – thereby meeting condition 1 for passing control to the Lenders.
The extraordinary write-down of Goodwill via £3 BILLION of “impairment charges” in the space of about 18 months, after leaving it unchanged for nearly 3 years until then – the direct result being that stated Assets fell well below the Liabilities - thereby meeting condition 2 for passing control to the Lenders.
The failure of the Board of Directors EVER to supply AUDITED accounts for the year ending 31 March 2013, the very accounts that were instrumental in hibu plc being put into administration.
The total unwillingness of ANY members of the Board of Directors to face and attempt to answer perfectly legitimate questions from shareholders about the demise of the company which had left many of them financially destitute, despite a meeting being properly convened many weeks before.
The threat to put hibu plc in administration if there was any chance of the HSG10 being elected as Directors at the EGM, and the carrying out of that threat just one week before the meeting was due to be held.
The failure to hold any meeting of shareholders when the value of the net assets fell below the prescribed level for the legal requirement to call such a meeting.
A serious apparent conflict of interest whereby the company who has been advising on the Group restructuring for more than 12 months was also selected to carry out the Administration of hibu plc.
The massive advertising campaign which followed hard on the heels of the ordinary share shares being declared worthless and hibu plc going into administration.
The continued confident forecasts made by many Directors and members of senior management, forecasting a prosperous future for the business, despite the collapse of the parent company, while the subsidiary companies continued to trade profitably and apparently unaffected.
The two top Executives of hibu taking extraordinarily large sums of money out of the company by way of remuneration and BONUSES (including it seems a 70% remuneration hike in the last year), while they presided over a share price that was falling off a cliff. Plus the failure of the company to supply reliable details of that remuneration for each of the last two years.