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Tihama shareholders call for vote to oust board members

A WH Smith branch. Tihama operates the brand's shops in Saudi Arabia and the UAE Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
A WH Smith branch. Tihama operates the brand's shops in Saudi Arabia and the UAE
  • Bloc owns 10% of Saudi media group
  • Bosses have dropped appeal plan
  • Next steps to tackle losses unclear

Shareholders in the troubled media conglomerate Tihama are calling for a vote to dismiss members of the board.

The company, which operates WH Smith shops in Saudi Arabia, said in a filing to the Saudi Stock Exchange that it had received a letter from a group of shareholders who collectively own 10 percent of the business.

Tihama said it would take the “necessary legal procedures” to arrange a general assembly meeting.

The shareholders’ move follows the board’s decision to drop an appeal against a Riyadh Commercial Court ruling that blocks its restructuring plan for the company.

Tihama bosses had said they would file an appeal against the ruling, which was issued on January 15, but decided against this last week after seeking expert opinion. The company’s latest statement says it will “exit the path of bankruptcy” but gives no further details. 

Last month, more than 99 percent of shareholders approved the financial restructuring plan recommended by Tihama’s board of directors, which was compiled under Saudi bankruptcy rules.

In a document seen by AGBI, Tihama said more than 60 claims from its creditors – including suppliers, banks and employees – had been approved. These claims total nearly SAR59 million ($15.7 million). 

Tihama has advertising, entertainment and publishing businesses, as well as the WH Smith units at airports in Riyadh, Jeddah and the UAE. Its accumulated losses stood at SAR119.8 million on June 30, which represents 30 percent of its capital. 

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