Board & Executive Structure, R&D Refund Confirmed
Environmental Clean Technologies Limited (ASX: ECT) (ECT or Company) is pleased to provide the following update on changes to the composition of its board and executive, effective from 3 January 2020, and the receipt of its FY 2019 R&D tax incentive refund.
- Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jim Blackburn resigns from executive role, retains director role as non-executive
- Glenn Fozard remains as Executive Chairman heading up operations, with all other Board and Executive roles remaining the same.
- Reduction in executive cash costs makes way for dedicated resources focused on implementation of the proposed Bacchus Marsh upgrade project, supporting operations and sales initiatives
- Payment of ~$1.511 million R&D Tax Incentive refund confirmed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
- Current FY19 ‘Brevet’ R&D loan repaid in full
- Surplus of ~$180k to partially repay creditors
Mr Jim Blackburn has advised ECT of his resignation from his role as COO of the Company effective 3 January 2020, whilst confirming he will remain a director of ECT.
Mr Blackburn’s resignation gives the Company the opportunity to continue its recent work with the executive team and board to refine its structure, function and cost base.
These changes are focused on ensuring the retention of corporate knowledge, skills and capacity whilst allowing for additional resources that match the priorities which support the development of earnings. In particular, this relates to preparation for the next phase of capital raising and the drive towards the implementation of the Bacchus Marsh upgrade project (announcement 9 October 2019).
Mr Blackburn has held the role of COO for the last 3 years. In addition, Jim was appointed to the role of executive director in September 2019. Continuing along this transition path, Mr Blackburn will now relinquish his role as part of the executive team. This will allow him to focus on core governance, strategy and compliance programs within his non-executive role as a director of ECT. Jim will also resign as director of ECT Finance Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of ECT) upon a suitable replacement being identified.
A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and formally trained in corporate governance, compliance and mediation Mr Blackburn has held numerous positions with private companies and not-for-profit boards over the past 15 years, including senior executive, chairman and both non-executive and executive director roles.
The effect of these changes is a further reduction in the Company’s executive remuneration costs providing scope for new ‘fit for purpose’ resources focused on the Bacchus Marsh management and operations that support the planned remediation and upgrade program at the Company’s Bacchus Marsh facility. The upgrade program is the key priority for the Company in support of the drive to establish positive cashflows and earnings for the group. In addition, the restructure will allow the two remaining executive directors, Glenn Fozard will take on the role of Head of Operations with all other Executive roles staying the same.
Chairman Glenn Fozard commented, “We are pleased that Jim is keen to continue to work with us in his board role as we implement our strategy for earnings growth and believe that this restructure puts the Company in a compelling position ahead of the next 12 months.
“It has been critical for us to retain the deep corporate knowledge and capabilities that Jim has acquired over the past 3 years in his role as COO.
“This restructure allows us to ‘right-size’ the operational resources for the next 12 months whilst simultaneously improving our governance rating at the board level through the balancing of two executive directors with two non-executive directors.
“Additionally, Jim’s valuable skillset and legacy knowledge of the business will be of great advantage to the board, as we execute our earnings strategy.”
The Company thanks Jim for his service in his executive role and looks forward to his continued contribution and leadership as a non-executive director.
The Company will provide further updates on progress with its planned capital raising activities and the plant upgrade project in due course.
R&D Refund Confirmed
The Company is pleased to announce that the ATO has confirmed that its R&D tax incentive refund of ~$1.511 million will be paid on 5 December 2019. The refund is in line with accruals disclosed in the 2018/19 Annual Report and repays in full the current FY19 R&D loan provided by New York-based financier ‘Brevet’.
A surplus of ~$180,000 will be allocated back to ECT which will be used to repay creditors.
The R&D tax incentive is a program managed by AusIndustry aimed at supporting eligible research activities.
The Company previously announced a $3.6M million facility from the same finance provider, Brevet, in support of current year’s operations.
ECT Chairman Mr Glenn Fozard commented, “The R&D tax incentive program supports innovation, both in terms of the valuable research generated by companies like ours, and innovation around the financing of that research. It has seen the emergence of financial products such as that provided by Brevet, which allows the forward factoring of anticipated refunds, providing additional cashflow to the business as we work toward delivering on our objectives.”
For further information, contact:
Glenn Fozard – Chairman [email protected]