2 Comments

Summary:

The funny little thing about shareholder voting at biofuel company Kior.

KiOR1

Biofuel upstart Kior has an annual meeting scheduled for next month in Houston Texas, in which shareholders will vote on such issues like electing seven people to the Board of Directors (one of those is Condoleezza Rice), as well as approving the compensation of Kior’s executives. Just some pretty basic stuff.

And the Kior letter to shareholders starts out in the usual way, asking shareholders to make sure to vote:

Your vote is important. Whether or not you plan to attend the meeting, we hope that you will vote as soon as possible.

But then a few pages into the SEC filing you get into the funny thing about Kior. It’s dominated by its investor, the venture firm run by Vinod Khosla, Khosla Ventures, which owns 80.5 percent of the total voting power. It’s officially a “controlled company” under The Nasdaq Global Select Market corporate governance standards.

Most of that voting control is through its 46.2 million class B shares (which are equal to ten votes per share). Class A shares only get one vote per share. No other entities own even close to that amount of class B shares — they’re like those invincibility stars on Super Mario: you got some of those and no one can touch you.

Scroll down a few pages and it says:

The vote of the shares held by affiliates of Khosla Ventures is sufficient to determine the outcome of all of the proposals to be voted on at the annual meeting.

Well, that’s that. Quick, get your votes in!

Check out my long opus on Kior and the perils of cleantech investing from about a year ago: The perils of cleantech investing: KiOR & the long term, high risk view. They’ve seemed to have hit some milestones recently. Kior makes a biocrude from grass, wood and plant waste using a thermochemical process that’s been used in the oil industry for decades.

  1. Mark Blackwell Friday, April 19, 2013

    Amazing reference to the invincibility stars on Super Mario Katie. Very true!

  2. Interesting, would like to discuss this further with you someday…..
    Paul O’Connor

Comments have been disabled for this post