Half of Pan African shareholders oppose firm’s executive pay

NEARLY half of shareholders who voted at Pan African Resources annual general meeting on November 23 declined to support the company’s scheme for executive pay as per its 2023 annual report which details its plans.

“We will engage with the major shareholders. We have not received any notifications as to why [they voted against the proposal] as yet,” said Hethen Hira, spokesperson for the gold producer.

Some 49.73% voted not to endorse the company’s remuneration implementation report, according to an announcement by Pan African. The remuneration policy, which the company said had not changed year-on-year, also met with opposition with 33.46% of shareholders moving against it.

In terms of the Corporate Governance Code of the UK, where the company is primarily listed, Pan African is required to hear shareholder’s grievances when more than 20% of those voting decline to support certain resolutions.

Pan African’s 2023 financial year closed on June 30.

In terms of the 2023 remuneration implementation report, Pan African CEO Cobus Loots is to be paid a basic salary of $407,000. After allowances, retention and leave payments, and including the company’s long-term incentive plan (PGLIP) for senior corporate management, the total single figure remuneration for Loots per the plan is $2.07m.

This compares to total remuneration of $1.4m for Loots in the 2022 implementation plan. On the same basis, Pan African CFO Deon Louw’s remuneration as per the 2023 remuneration report is $1,67m compared with $1.1m in the 2022 report.

Both Loots and Louw were re-elected by almost 100% of voting shareholders.

Pan African has had a mixed recent history. On the downside, it missed production guidance for its 2023 financial year while a step-out strategy to invest in Sudan was interrupted by civil war in the north African country.

However the company has staged a strong recovery in the last six months owing to an operational recovery put in place in 2023. Pan African announced on November 22 that following strong production it expected to produce towards the upper end of guidance for 2024 of 180,000 to 190,000 ounces.

It also expected to commission the Mintails project west of Johannesburg at the end of the 2024 calendar year (first half of Pan African’s 2025 financial year) after securing finance for the R2.5bn project.

Shares in the company have gained just under 7% over the past 12 months. On a year to date basis, the share is 12.65% higher.