Premier Investments is acting on threats to oust the board of Myer with a request for the department store chain’s shareholder register in a first step towards holding a vote to install new directors.
In the latest move in the ongoing war between Myer and its largest shareholder, Premier has requested the Myer share register to “facilitate engagement” on an extraordinary general meeting, where a vote to reconstitute the company’s board can be taken.
Myer’s board suffered a first strike at its last AGM and, following poor Christmas sales, Premier said “urgent” change was needed now that it seems likely Myer’s 2018 AGM will see a second strike and, consequently, a spill of the entire Board.
Weak sales and a profit downgrade in December 2017 clearly showed “a continued disappointing downward trajectory” Premier said in a statement on Wednesday.
Premier said a “significant circuit-breaker” is needed for the department store to have a sustainable future.
Mr Lew, as chair of Premier has been sharply critical of Myer’s performance and its turnaround strategy of store closures and heavily discounted lines.
“It is not in the best interests of shareholders that the current Myer Board be allowed to preside over another year of declining sales, eroding profits and further share price deterioration before urgently needed change is introduced at board level,” Premier said.
Premier already has its preferred nominees in place ready to assume directorships on a refreshed Myer board and said it will consult with Myer shareholders on candidates for other board places.
Premier Investments will pay for the EGM, “in the interests of all shareholders.”
At 1225 AEDT, shares in Myer, which have lost around 40 per cent since Premier bought its stake in March, were down 0.25 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at 64.75 cents.