BNN failed to declare £270,000 bonus for ex-CEO
BNN Technology said it failed to declare a £270,000 bonus for its former chief executive as the troubled company's listing on AIM hung in the balance.
The Chinese data and payments company, whose shares are suspended, said it was continuing talks with former CEO Darren Mercer over repayment of a £450,000 loan made to him. The previously undeclared bonus has reduced the value of the loan, BNN said.
BNN said the bonus was agreed in June 2016 and had not been paid. The board became aware of the bonus in the three months that ended on 30 June 2017. The company did not account for the bonus in its 2016 annual report or any subsequent disclosure.
The bonus was revealed as BNN said its nominated adviser, Strand Hanson, had quit with effect from 9 January. If no replacement adviser is found by 9 February the company's AIM listing will be cancelled.
BNN was plunged into chaos in September when its chief financial officer, Scott Kennedy, resigned and made unspecified serious allegations against Mercer and Wei Qi, CEO of Chinese operations. Mercer and Wei were suspended and trading in BNN shares was halted.
The board appointed PwC to hold an independent investigation into the allegations. In late October the independent directors, including Conservative peer Benjamin Mancroft, lifted Mercer's suspension, stripped him of the CEO role and made him head of strategic partnerships and business development. Wei was reinstated as China CEO but did not return to the board.
BNN said on Wednesday: "The company has recently been presented with information which Mr Mercer believes could reduce the amount of the remainder of the loan. This is now under review and a revised balance of the loan, together with a revised repayment schedule, is expected to be agreed with Mr Mercer shortly. Additionally, further amounts which were not included in the loan are also being investigated by the board, in light of the findings of the PwC report."