The Daily Telegraph - Business

Argo Blockchain opposes nominee of investor Frank Timis

- By Matthew Field

A CRYPTOCURR­ENCY start-up has tried to rebuff a director nomination by a shareholde­r set on a board clear-out.

London-listed Argo Blockchain faces pressure from First Investment Holdings, controlled by Romanian-Australian businessma­n Frank Timis.

Its board warned his nominee, Jeff Couch of the Bank of Montreal, would face “challengin­g time constraint­s” and said it “did not share ... confidence” in his experience of digital currencies. Mr Timis did not disclose the banker’s close relationsh­ip with his previous ventures as director of a company he founded, the board said. Shareholde­rs vote on his appointmen­t this week.

Directors must disclose roles in the last five years with significan­t links to a firm or major shareholde­rs. From 2010 to 2015, Mr Couch was a director at African Petroleum, founded by Mr Timis. Since he is yet to be appointed there is no suggestion any City rules have been broken. The board move to rebuff his nomination comes as First Investment tries to oust two Argo founders.

Mr Timis has long invested in mining and mineral firms in Australia and Africa; he claims to have lost $252m (£194m) in the fall of African Minerals.

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