AAP Finance

Isignthis rejects allegations to ASX

By AAP Newswire

Red-hot fintech Isignthis has taken investors on a rollercoaster ride this week following questions about its governance, ownership and performance bonuses worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Melbourne-based firm has seen its shares swing from an intraday high of $1.765 on Tuesday to an intraday low of 90 cents on Thursday, having started the year at just 15 cents.

In a statement to the ASX on Friday, the company blamed the stock gyrations on a leaked report by ASX300 governance advisory firm Ownership Matters that it took issue with.

"The report appears to rely upon a number of inferences and draws unverified conclusions that, in the company's opinion, are inconsistent with public disclosures made by the company on the ASX platform," Isignthis said.

The report was not made public but was reported on late on Thursday by the Australian Financial Review and the Sydney Morning Herald, sparking a furore on social media.

Isignthis said the report misstated how Isignthis executives came to receive 112 million in shares issued as a performance bonus.

Isignthis shares were trading up 12.5 cents, or 13.4 per cent, to $1.055 at 1211 AEST, meaning the 112 million shares were worth $118 million.

The performance bonus structure was created in 2016 when Isignthis listed on the ASX via a reverse takeover of Otis Energy.

Executives were to receive 112.2 million in shares for each of three half-year revenue milestones the company hit within three years of the listing, the targets being $2.5 million, $3.75 million and $5 million.

Isignthis said it exceeded its third milestone by $512,057 - not $1,347, as the report alleges - with audited revenue in the six months to June 2018 of $5,512,057.

That increased to $8.2 million in the six months to June 30, 2019, with the company declaring a first-half statutory loss this year of $700,000.

Isignthis has a market capitalisation of $1.1 billion.

The company also said it changed its financial year to a calendar year basis to streamline audit and reporting requirements, not to meet the performance milestones.

Isignthis also denied its ownership was opaque or that it should comment on reasons for certain shareholders were trading in company securities.

Isignthis said it would refer "the matter and conduct of Ownership Matters to ASIC".

Ownership Matters director Dean Paatsch said the company would welcome any inquiry.

"Everything published in our report was verifiable from the public record," he told AAP.

Isignthis provides payment and remote identity verification services for forex brokers and cryptocurrency exchanges so they can meet know-your-customer requirements.

Even following shares this week's crash, its shares are up nearly sixfold on the year.

They shot up 14 per cent on Monday after the company said its annualised monthly gross processing transaction value for August had exceeded $1.1 billion.

The company has an operations centre in Nicosia, Cyprus, and is dual-listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

It is joining the S&P/ASX300 index on September 23.