Solomon Lew Rejects Myer Board Offer, Wants Directors Sacked
Solomon Lew has rejected an offer from Myer to give Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments a seat on the board, after the company increased its stake to over 15 per cent.
“As discussed at our annual general meeting, we are open to constructive and positive dialogue with all our major shareholders, including Premier Investments, with a primary objective of delivering value for all shareholders,” Myer acting chairwoman Joanne Stephenson said this week
“Acknowledging that Premier Investments has increased its holding in the company to greater than 15 per cent and the significance of this change, I have reached out to Mr Lew and look forward to constructive dialogue.
“The board is open to discussing appropriate board representation of Premier Investments through nomination to the Myer board.”
But Lew rebuffed the order, releasing a statement yesterday attacking the way the company has been run, explaining that since 2017, 71 per cent of “shareholder wealth” has been “destroyed.”
“Since that time, Myer has had three chairmen, one executive chairman, two CEOs, numerous strategy launches and countless strategic reviews and re-launches. All the while their performance has consistently declined, disappointing their shareholders, customers and suppliers,” Mr Lew said.
“Premier has nothing to gain from spending time with the members of the current Myer board.
“The only thing Premier will accept from the current Myer board is the resignation of its three remaining non-executive directors.”
He then pointed at Myer’s failure to appoint a new chairman since Garry Hounsell’s departure late last year as an indication that “no credible company director would accept an offer to work with the current Myer board.”
A Myer spokesman said of the attack: “Despite today’s comments from Premier Investments they have chosen to make another significant investment in Myer, so it can be safely assumed they see value in the company,” adding that its invitation stands.
“We remain of the view that constructive discussions are in the best interests of all shareholders and aggressive interactions will be a distraction for the business and potentially value-destructive.”