Waitr’s proposed reverse stock split fails, putting Nasdaq listing in jeopardy

Waitr’s shareholders failed to approve a measure intended to raise the company’s depressed share price, putting the food delivery service app’s Nasdaq listing in jeopardy.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lafayette-based Waitr said only 60.4 million votes were cast in favor of a reverse stock split, which would have consolidated the number of available shares in the market had it passed. The tally represented only 39% of the company’s total 154 million shares.

Shareholders were allowed to cast one vote per share. Waitr needed a majority of votes to pass the measure.

Waitr officials indicated they could keep pursuing the reverse stock split despite the rejection.

“The Company plans to continue to work on solutions to overcome the perceived impediment to implementing the Reverse Split, with the goal of maintaining the Company’s continued listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market, while addressing the concerns of our stockholders,” Waitr’s SEC filing said. “The Company continues to believe that the Reverse Split, as well as continued listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market, is in the stockholders’ best interest.”

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In its annual report in March, Waitr had indicated it was considering a reverse stock split, a move that reduces the number of shares available, thus raising their price.

The company had proposed implementing a reverse split ratio of anywhere between one-for-four and one-for-fifteen. In other words, every four shares would become one share under the lower ratio, or fifteen shares would become one share under the higher ratio.

Waitr’s share price has been trending downward since October, when it hit a recent high of $2.05. It has been below Nasdaq’s minimum requirement of $1 since December and was trading at 17 cents Friday. Companies that trade on Nasdaq must maintain a $1 price or higher for at least 30 days to avoid penalty.

Waitr has until July 25 to raise the price above $1 for at least a 10-day stretch to avoid being delisted.

The company faced a similar delisting threat in 2019, but its stock recovered as people relied more on delivery services during the initial waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

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