Solomon Lew has written to Myer shareholders urging them to trigger a spill of the company’s board at next month’s annual general meeting.
The billionaire investor’s letter to shareholders said the Myer board’s lack of retail experience had put the company in its current predicament, with the embattled department store giant announcing a full-year net loss of $486 million in September.
A first strike was already given against the Myer Board at the 2017 annual meeting, meaning a second rejection of the remuneration report next month would spill the board and open it up to new faces.
Mr Lew, whose Premier Investments company is Myer’s biggest shareholder with a 10.8 per cent holding, said directors had treated the company as ‘a personal piggy bank’, taking excessive fees and signing a deal that he says would grant the banks a charge on all Myer’s assets.
‘To add insult to injury, the banks have very significantly increased their fees for the Myer facility and substantially restricted Myer’s usage of cash,’ Mr Lew wrote.
The retail veteran has been a constant critic of Myer’s board since buying a stake long perceived as a foothold for a takeover.
Earlier in October Mr Lew asked Myer for a list of its owners, further stoking takeover speculation.
Mr Lew said it was Premier Investments’ view that new Myer chief executive John King needed a new board to help him achieve the ‘daunting challenge’ of steering Myer out of danger.
‘Premier Investments has, over the past 14 months, consistently called out issues in advance,’ Mr Lew wrote.
‘The current Myer board has refused to listen until it is has simply been too late.’