It’s tough to get anyone to pay attention when you’re running a four-cent stock. But then the name Sprott Inc. shows up. And Institutional Shareholder Services. And Glass Lewis. And Joe Groia, the lawyer. And Navigator, the crisis management firm. And a wagonload of mud slinging. And a full-on proxy fight with a voting deadline of this week.
All of which leads the reasonable person to ask: what the heck is going on here? The company in question: Alexandria Minerals Inc., a penny miner with dreams of gold. The agitator: geologist and ousted CEO Eric Owens, who founded the company more than a decade ago.
Owens found himself turfed from the firm in February four days after he publicly announced his intention to call a shareholder meeting to remove three board members, in what the chairman of the board calls a “costly and distracting proxy fight.”
Which explains how we come to find Owens in the offices of Navigator in the umbra of Bay Street looking very un-Bay Street like, being self-reflective. “I’m not a shark, as you can probably tell,” he says, to which one can only nod in understanding.
“At the end of the day this is costing me and my family a lot of money and if we lose we’re going to be out of pocket a lot of money.” What’s a lot of money? “Half a million dollars, probably. There’s lawyers. There’s Navigator. It’s an industry. The proxy industry is a good-sized industry. There’s lots of people with their hands out.”