ASIC probes Village dividends

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission is looking into a potential move by Village Roadshow to scrap the payment of dividends on its A-class preference shares. Village ceased payments on its ordinary stock in 2002 and has said it's considering doing the same for the 251 million preference shares, which has prompted a major backlash from shareholders.

Village's MD Graham Burke confirmed the company may suspend the dividend, and said also Village is considering a buy-back of the A-class preference shares.
The shares are trading at 68 cents each, having fallen from over $1.60 each at the beginning of 2002. Preference shareholders are entitled to 10.175 cents per share or 3 cents over the ordinary dividend, whichever is higher.