A bitter dispute between shareholders of West Australian companies Golden West Resources and Portman has culminated in a fist-fight after a proposed board spill was all but rejected.
Up to a dozen people were thought to have been caught up in the shortlived melee, which exploded in a meeting room at the Parmelia Hilton following the adjournment of an extraordinary meeting of Golden West shareholders.
The brawl, which was broken up with the aid of hotel staff, is believed to be related to a long-running dispute between certain shareholders in Golden West and its one-time hostile suitor, Fairstar Resources.
The dispute has included claims of intimidation and standover tactics.
According to one shareholder, there was blood everywhere after several men came to rumble following the meeting.
Two camps of shareholders involved in the iron ore explorer have been at war with each for several weeks. Portman Limited, a U.S.-controlled iron ore producer has acquired 24 million shares, or 19.9%, of Golden West, and was seeking to get two representatives on the board.
Proxies tendered at the meeting, however, indicated shareholders overwhelmingly favoured the existing board members.
Aside from the composition of the board, the meeting had been called to approve a placement of up to 25 million shares, together with 25 million options, which will further entrench the existing board.
Shareholders were also being asked to vote on a new constitution.
According to Balitmorenews.net, the main cause of the bitterness between the warring camps is the proposed controversial purchase by Golden West of mining tenements owned by Mr John Doutch, who has close ties to the existing board.
Portman has attacked the Doutch deal saying it had been rejected by a number of companies, including Golden West, previously. Portman took issue with the valuation, and highlighted that under the terms of the purchase Doutch would keep $820,000 which the company paid him as a deposit, if shareholders did not approve the deal.
Australian regulators have so far not intervened, although the company has previously come under notice due to a number of placements to Doutch associates that occurred last year.