Corel shareholders vote in favour of Vector acquisition

Corel Corp. is set to be acquired by Vector Capital Corp. after more than 80 per cent of Corel shareholders voted in favour of the buyout Wednesday – regardless of some shareholder claims that they were unable to vote.

According to the companies, 81.1 per cent of votes cast were in favour of the Arrangement Resolution, which approves the Plan of Arrangement resulting in the Vector acquisition of Corel, despite some shareholders attempts to ward off the pending takeover. [Please see Corel acquisition by Vector opposed by stockholder group.]

In addition, 80.5 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the Rights Plan Resolution, which approves the termination of the Corel shareholders’ rights plan.

In a statement, Derek Burney, president and CEO of Corel called Wednesday’s vote a significant milestone in the continuing evolution of Corel. Burney added that the decision also reflects recognition on the part of the majority of Corel shareholders that, although Corel will continue to develop innovative software, the company still faces challenges in “converting enthusiasm for its products into meaningful revenue growth that will be rewarded by the market.”

Still, some shareholders argued that many of them were unaware of the voting procedures, and had not received proxy circulars, which detailed voting information. According to Robert Alexander, a spokesperson for Corel Rescue, a group of anti-Vector-acquisition shareholders, only 42 million out of 100 million votes were accounted for.

Glenn Bruneau, another spokesperson for Corel Rescue, said the group contests that while Corel sent out the proxy circulars to its U.S. shareholders, many did not receive them in time to vote, or in time to go through the approximately 200-page document.

Both Alexander and Bruneau said they have received e-mails from Corel shareholders in Houston and Japan who said they did not receive their proxy circulars until Aug. 19, if at all.

Alexander said Corel Rescue intends to use this information Thursday at a hearing in the Ontario Provincial Court to appeal the vote.

Corel will seek final court approval for the US$124 million takeover Thursday. If approval is granted, the companies expect the acquisition to be finalized next week.

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– With files from Rebecca Reid, IT World Canada

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