Solomon Lew Gets Hold Of Myer Share Register New Tilt At Board Seats Coming
Myer shareholders are set to be given a choice, the executives they already have running the Company or Solomon Lew and the team from Premier Investments.
Earlier today billionaire retailer Solomon Lew who recently hired the CEO of JB Hi Fi Richard Murray got his hands on Myer share register.
This allows him to deal direct in an effort to get better representation on the board of the Melbourne based retailer after he outlayed $16.4 million last week to lift his stake in the struggling retailer to 15.8 per cent from 10.8 per cent.
Mr Lew’s Premier Investments, which owns brands such as Portmans, Just Jeans, Peter Alexander and Smiggle, first requested the share register from Myer on July 9. Corporate regulations require a share register to be handed over within seven days of a formal request.
Under corporations’ law, companies have seven days to hand over their share register after a formal request.
The AFR reported that Premier Investments has also retained a proxy solicitation firm, Morrow Sodali, to collect proxy votes from investors and enlist their support ahead of calling an extraordinary general meeting, where it will seek to force Myer’s non-executive directors to stand down and appoint its own representatives.
Mr Lew has demanded that Myer’s three remaining non-executive directors – David Whittle, Jacquie Naylor and acting chairwoman JoAnne Stephenson step down.
“In Premier’s view, Myer’s three remaining non-executive directors should for once put its shareholders first and resign immediately. Any other action would be futile, and costly for Myer shareholders, who have endured enough,” Mr Lew said earlier this month.
Current Myer management claim it’s not in the best interest of the business to allow Premier Investments to take or exert control of Myer without shareholders realising an appropriate premium and appropriate value for an effective change of control.
Lew is understood to support Myer chief executive John King, but believes Myer needs non-executive directors with more retail and e-commerce expertise.
Mr Lew has yet to confirm who he wants on the Myer board, but there has been speculation around Premier Investments’ outgoing chief executive Mark McInnes, who announced his intention to resign in January to spend more time with his young family could be parachuted into the role, after Premier Investments went out of their way to announce that incoming executive Richard Murry “Will not” be officially involved in the Myer business.
The AFR said that given Mr McInnes’ 30-year career in retailing, including 13 years at David Jones, where earnings tripled under his watch, Myer shareholders would likely be more than happy to appoint him to the board.