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‘Hotel California’: iSignthis battles ASX as delisting calls grow louder

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“The listing rule does not require disclosure of each person requisitioning the notice, nor the voting intentions of private shareholders to be disclosed to the ASX,” he said in a letter to shareholders on Wednesday.

“I’m sure that this would be understood as a basic principle of a democratic society and that any reading of the ASX listing rules will demonstrate that seeking this data is overreach by the ASX.”

However, the ASX said iSignthis had breached a rule that required it to hand over any information requested by the ASX.

The delisting push comes from at least 55 individual shareholders who are largely retail investors and have banded together on stock forum HotCopper to form the numbers required to ask for the resolution to be added to the agenda of iSignthis’s annual meeting.

A source close to iSignthis said: “It’s like the Hotel California, you can check out any time you like,
but you can never leave.”

ISignthis recently brokered a deal to become the largest shareholder in secondary exchange NSX, and shareholders have also asked that iSignthis seek a new listing, presumably on the NSX.

‘… any reading of the ASX listing rules will demonstrate that seeking this data is overreach by the ASX.’

ISignthis chief executive John Karantzis

ISignthis, which provides automated payment verification and payment services to clients to help them meet “know your client” requirements under anti-money laundering regulations, has been in the headlines since September when proxy advisory and research group Ownership Matters raised questions about the quality of the group’s disclosures, its governance and shareholder structure.

Its customer base, which has included companies accused of unconscionable conduct by ASIC, has also been of significant concern. ASIC is separately reviewing iSignthis’ disclosure practices.

ISignthis took the ASX to court in December to stop the market operator from releasing a report on the activities of the company over concerns the report included errors. ISignthis has also accused the ASX of leaking information it provided confidentially to the ASX on request.

It is now seeking damages from the ASX over what it alleges has been unfair treatment by the market operator. That damages bill is expected to stretch into the millions.

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