When Seelan Gobalsamy first joined the board of Omnia as a non-executive director in September 2018, the diversified company that supplies chemicals and specialised services and solutions for the agriculture, mining and chemical application industries was in dire straits with its debt, and holders of the stock had lost confidence and gradually sold it en masse.
By 2019, Omnia’s share price had dropped by more than 85% over the preceding five years. While Omnia saw a steep increase in its share price at the end of 2017 after announcing higher-than-expected profits and a slight increase in sales, the opposite happened when its full-year results showed a slump in profit six months later. At the end of 2018, its share price slid further when it announced a loss for the first six months of the 2019 financial year.
In early 2019, the Omnia board sat down and made some management changes. The business also did a rights issue to pay off a large chunk of its debt.