At Ampol, not much has changed – apart from the name.

The board of the company formerly known as Caltex appointed two new directors from June 1. But neither Michael Ihlein nor Gary Smith own a single share in the business.

Caltex’s board came under heavy criticism from investors last December for not accepting a takeover bid from Alimentation Couche Tard. The Canadian company offered $34.50 cash a share. Today the stock trades at $27.46.

At the time, activist investor and major shareholder Merlon Capital questioned why the board members’ shareholdings were so low if they believed the company was so undervalued. Back then, the six non-executive directors held 38,311 shares, which Merlon pointed out were worth less than the $1.65 million the directors took home in fees in 2018. The fund manager, for comparison, owned 1.9 million shares worth $65 million at the time.

Smith, the aforementioned new board appointment, has worked in various management positions at Ampol since 2009. But he’s yet to accumulate a single share. So still, his directors’ fees are worth far more than his shareholding (zilch).

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