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Odey Asset Management urges ouster of chiefs at digital invoicing firm Tungsten

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Odey Asset Management urges ouster of chiefs at digital invoicing firm Tungsten

Tungsten Corp. PLC, a U.K.-based provider of digital invoicing technology, said June 14 that it would enter talks with shareholders, led by Odey Asset Management LLP, who are demanding the ouster of its chairman and CEO, among others.

Odey Asset Management said it could request an extraordinary general meeting to force the moves if the company did not agree to dismiss Chairman Nicholas Parker and CEO Richard Hurwitz, Sky News reported June 13, adding that the company's board was set to meet June 14. Odey Asset Management is also requesting that Ian Wheeler and Davide Benello be removed from Tungsten's board as nonexecutive directors, and replaced by Tony Bromovsky and Duncan Goldie-Morrison.

Tungsten said that although it has not received a request for a shareholder meeting, it understands that Odey has received irrevocable undertakings from several shareholders to back its proposals. It also said its board "regrets that this initiative has been taken at the moment that Tungsten has reached an inflection point," noting that it reported a monthly EBITDA breakeven for the first four months of the calendar year and narrowed its EBITDA loss to £4.6 million for the fiscal year to April 30.

Odey Asset Management was founded by billionaire Crispin Odey, a noted donor to the U.K.'s Conservative Party. He has long-standing frustrations regarding Tungsten, especially given a 20% drop in its share price over the past year, Sky said. At least one Tungsten shareholder is also reportedly angry at how much Tungsten executives are paid given its size.

Odey Asset Management has a stake of nearly 15% in Tungsten, according to a June 5 regulatory filing.