Who Will Solomon Lew Nominate For The Myer Board Today?
The battle between Solomon Lew and the Myer board comes to a head at 5pm today, as nominations for a potential board takeover must be handed in by the close of business.
Lew, who is the largest shareholder in the Myer company, has been vocal about his wishes to elect his own directors to the board, openly criticising the current board on more than a few occasions.
Last year, he was successful in ejecting chairman Garry Hounsell, and early last month publicly demanded the Myer board release profit guidance for the last financial year, saying that any potential directors would need to see early financials in order to have the time to make an informed decision about joining the board.
Myer then enlisted Luminis Partners, a pre-emptive move, which led Lew to release a statement saying he has “no current intention of launching a takeover offer” for Myer.
Nevertheless, Lew seems to be planning something. Myer is reportedly looking for potential investors that can provide both the capital to invest heavily, and the business expertise to challenge Lew’s 16 per cent controlling stake on the board.
Myer also defied Lew’s wishes that it delays the annual general meeting until they release profit guidance, and instead announced the AGM for November 4, giving Lew a limited window in which to nominate potential directors – none of which would be privy to the company’s financials.
Lew wrote to Myer’s acting chair, JoAnne Stephenson with this request, and a threat that if his “commonsense” request wasn’t granted, he, as major shareholder, would call an immediate extraordinary general meeting to move to kick out the existing board.
Myer has called his hand, which now gives Lew until 5pm today to nominate any potential outside directors.
None of the potential directors would have seen Myer’s books before the nomination – a risky move for any reputable company director to make.