There’s blood in the water at Corporate Travel Management and it is not just short-sellers circling.
As Corporate Travel did its best to bat away VGI Partners’ 20-point plan on Wednesday – a performance which, to be fair, probably exceeded expectations for a lot of the day before diving late to finish down 27.5 per cent – it revealed it had phoned in some friends for help with the defence.
“The Board has treated the review of VGI’s claims seriously and given it the highest priority including seeking advice from its corporate and legal advisers,” it said in its response statement posted on the ASX.
Street Talk understands that when it comes to advice, the mainstay is law firm Allens and its Brisbane office.
Allens was already Corporate Travel’s corporate counsel – and indeed the host of its annual general meeting, also on Wednesday – and has been called in to advise on matters to do with disclosure, directors duties and the like.
As for the “corporate” advice, it seems to be a bit more fluid.
While sources close to the situation said no one investment bank, boutique or broker had been mandated, fingers were naturally pointing to Brisbane stockbroker Morgans as the first port of call.
Morgans’ corporate team floated Corporate Travel in December 2010 and has been first called on every transaction since, including lead underwriter on three raisings and financial adviser on two of those deals, according to S&P Capital IQ, and a couple of selldowns. It also has an analyst follow the story closely and has put plenty of its clients into the stock over the years.
But it is understood Corporate Travel has also “bounced ideas” off another firm, as one onlooker put it. And that firm is boutique adviser Greenhill; the same Greenhill that has been tending to another under fire Brisbane based company, Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd, in recent months.
It remains to be seen whether the soundings turn into a mandate for either of the firms involved. The next week’s trading is likely to play a big part.