Corporate Travel Management unscrambles mixed signals

Corporate Travel Management has confirmed that founder and managing director Jamie Pherous has taken back control of his shareholding after it was revealed that his investment company had been dergistered with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

“Mr Pherous has confirmed to CTD that he continues to indirectly hold 20.74 million CTD shares via that personal investment company, and that he has not sold or does not intend to sell any CTD shares,” a  statement to shareholders read.

“Mr Pherous has also confirmed to CTD that a company named Pherous Holdings Pty Ltd, which has been registered with ASIC by Rob Luciano and Douglas Tynan of VGI Partners, is unrelated to him.”

The Australian Financial Review revealed that Pherous Holdings, the company which Pherous held his CTM shares in, was deregistered on 8 March because it failed to pay its annual review fees to ASIC.

The AFR also reported that soon after the deregistration of Pherous Holdings, another company was registered under the same name on 14 March, with hedge fund VGI Partners, which has been highly critical of CTM in recent months, named as its sole shareholder.

The latest twist in the saga of CTM follows on the heels of the resignation of long serving chairman Tony Bellas.

The departure comes days after The Australian reported that more than 180,000 shares in the company, worth $4.5 million, had been transferred from a super fund whose beneficiaries included Bellas and his ex-wife Maria Bellas.

It was later reported the transfer occurred as part of Bellas’ divorce proceedings, with a court ordering the funds be transferred and signed for to ensure the future transfer of those shares. But the transfer has since been put on hold.

Ewen Crouch has replaced Bellas as chairman.