The directors of Ocho have warned shareholders they plan to resign if a bid to place the company into voluntary liquidation fails.

The news was communicated to shareholders ahead of a meeting this afternoon to determine the fate of the embattled chocolate company.

It comes after the current board of directors, who had only been involved for the past six months, announced a proposal to place the Dunedin craft chocolate company into voluntary liquidation.

At a meeting last month former Ocho managing director and chairman Dr Jim O’Malley led a shareholder revolt in a bid to rescue the company.

A total of 66 of 96 Ocho shareholders present voted in favour of delaying a resolution to appoint a liquidator by two weeks, while Dr O’Malley examined the finances and prepared an alternate budget.

In a document sent to shareholders last week, obtained by the Otago Daily Times, the board of directors said they still believed the ‘‘only viable option’’ for Ocho was voluntary liquidation and reiterated they had only been involved for a short period of time.

Although they had the knowledge and skills to govern the company, ‘‘had the current directors known all that is now known, it is likely that the current directors would not have accepted the directorship positions,’’ they said.

Much of the ongoing management of the company had fallen onto the directors, at times spending up to 40 unpaid hours a week on Ocho business, they said.

‘‘This is no longer tenable or sustainable.

‘‘We also do not believe that directors working ‘in’ the business will provide the long-term profitability required.’’  

At this afternoon’s meeting, should the shareholders vote against the resolution to appoint a liquidator, the directors said they would ‘‘view this as a vote of no confidence and will resign from their positions’’.

If new directors were required, there would be an immediate call for nominations within 48 hours with the view of holding a meeting to elect these new directors within the next 10 working days. 

Should insolvency become an inevitability within this period, the current directors would have ‘‘no choice’’ but to place the company into voluntary administration, they said. 

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