Theme park operator Ardent Leisure has headed off a battle for shareholder votes with corporate raider Ariadne.
At the weekend, the board of directors agree to appoint two Ariadne nominees, Gary Hilton Weiss and Brad Richmond, to the board, heading off a vote at an extraordinary meeting of shareholders.
Ariadne, which has built a 10.9% in Ardent, has been running a campaign since June saying Ardent Leisure has “lost its way” with “significant concerns” about the way the company has “performed, been managed and been governed in recent years”.
George Venardos, the current chair of Ardent, had urged shareholders to vote against the new directors at a shareholder meeting due today.
However, at the weekend Ardent announced both parties had agreed that the most important outcome is the ability of the board to have absolute focus on executing its strategy.
Ardent chair George Venardos said: “We are confident that Dr Weiss and Mr Richmond can bring assistance and additional insight to the Board. We are pleased that Ardent can now focus on executing its stated strategy to drive performance.”
Weiss said: “I look forward to working collaboratively with the board to deliver value for the benefit of all Ardent security holders.”
Ariadne became known for its activities as a corporate raider in the 1980s under Sir Ron Brierley.
Ardent posted a net loss after tax of $62.6 million in 2017, significantly impacted by the Dreamworld ride tragedy when four people died and the park’s shutdown for 45 days.