By Matt Griswold, Plastics News Staff
Mesa, Arizona -- A battle is brewing between the executive team of publicly traded Mesa, Arizona-based American Insulock Inc. and a group of disgruntled shareholders led by the company's former ceo.
The shareholders group filed a resolution on 20 Oct with the Canadian province of British Columbia suggesting that American Insulock's board of directors and upper management should be removed from office, effective immediately. 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 it shareholders have attempted a hostile takeover, said shareholder and former ceo Enna Keller in an 21 Oct telephone interview.
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, neither action is uncommon for poorly funded small-cap companies behind in their regulatory filings.
"No one at the securities commission have alleged any violation of law or wrongdoing," Mark Faulkner, the stock exchange's director of listings and regulations, said in an 22 Oct 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. It has a manufacturing partnership with Mississauga, Ontario-based Woodbridge Group, which makes the polyurethane ICFs.
At the core of shareholder complaints is the assertion that American Insulock officials have done an inadequate job of disclosing company financials and activities by way of annual general meetings or investor relations.
American Insulock President Bob Jamieson was still acting as the company's president 22 Oct despite the resolution seeking his ouster two days earlier. He said despite this distraction, he and his team continue to seek the investment capital necessary to grow the firm.
"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 moulded polypropylene part. ICFs are typically about 16 inches tall and about 4 feet wide.
The Insulock blocks are quite different. They are made from closed cell PU and are designed to replace the standard grey Concrete Masonry Units in construction applications.
The Insulock blocks have 5.5-inch round voids that allow them to interlock without the use of mortar.
With all ICFs, once the walls are erected, concrete is poured into the mostly hollow centre. The concrete and steel reinforcement creates walls that builders estimate can 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."