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Lew’s Move Against Myer Board Following Stock Sale

Wilson Asset Management has sold close to half its holdings in Myer, moving from a 7.8 per cent shareholder to a minor stake of around 4.5 per cent.

The fund, ran by veteran manager Geoff Wilson, will enjoy a hefty cash out after a year that has seen share prices double, but this move will also impact Solomon Lew’s plans to upend the Myer board.

This sale comes as Lew plans to call an extraordinary general meeting in order to remove Myer’s non-executive directors. As Myer’s biggest shareholder, at 15.77 per cent, Lew’s Premier Investments still holds considerable sway, but can no longer count on 7.8 per cent of votes courtesy of the once-second biggest shareholder, WAM.

Last year, WAM and Premier combined to force then Myer chairman Garry Hounsell to step down, rather than face a vote.

“Clearly the share price has gone up a lot, we were buying at 20 cents and we are just taking some profits,” WAM lead portfolio manager Oscar Oberg told The Australian.

“I think it is important in our game, funds management, you can’t fall in love with companies and the Myer team has done a good job, the share price has gone up.”

Shares in Myer closed at 57c on Thursday.

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