Humm-Latitude deal collapses; directors to exit

Humm founder Andrew Abercrombie says the mass resignation of the company’s directors represents a fresh start for the consumer lender and an opportunity to rebuild.

The majority directors at Humm resigned on Wednesday morning, less than a week after the collapse of a deal to sell the company’s consumer finance arm to Ahmed Fahour’s Latitude Financial.

In an update to the ASX, the directors said they could not remain on the board with Abercrombie, who waged a campaign with shareholders to reject the deal, arguing it undervalued the company.

Humm Group chairman Christine Christian will resign from the board after a replacement is found.

Humm Group chairman Christine Christian will resign from the board after a replacement is found. Credit:Nine

In response to the board resignations, Abercrombie said he believed the move was in the best interest of all shareholders. “The decision gives Humm an opportunity to start afresh,” he said. “The hard work of rebuilding Humm starts now and I look forward to being part of that renewal.

“As I have said all along, I believe Humm is a great business with plenty of potential. We are well capitalised and I believe positioned for future growth to ensure ongoing success.”

Directors John Wylie and Alistair Muir will resign, effective immediately, while chair Christine Christian, Carole Campbell and Rajeev Dhawan will resign once replacement directors have been appointed.

The majority directors said in a statement released to the ASX on Wednesday that the events leading to the termination of the proposed sale of Humm Consumer Finance “have caused the majority directors of Humm Group Limited to conclude that they cannot remain on the board of directors with Andrew Abercrombie”.

“The majority directors believe that it is in shareholders’ interests for changes to the composition of the board of directors to be made in an orderly fashion. This will enable a new board of directors to take the company forward and deal with the challenges and opportunities ahead,” they said.

Wylie, founder of Tanarra Capital, said in a statement on Wednesday he believed the sale of Humm Consumer Finance was a good one when it was originally agreed, but its value became less attractive over time. Tanarra will remain a shareholder in the company, he said.

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