- Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments has fired off a legal letter to Myer.
- He wants the department store to release quarterly sales numbers.
- To withhold such inform could be unlawful, he says.
Lawyers for Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments have demanded Myer release its quarterly trading numbers, saying withholding such information could be unlawful.
The billionaire fashion retailer opened a new round in his campaign to get rid of the current board of directors of Myer, which in May decided not to continue issuing monthly sales numbers.
The focus now is the company’s AGM at the end of the month where Lew is urging a second strike against the “failed” board of Myer. The company has been posting losses after its plan to resurrect growth crumbled.
Today Premier Investments, which is the largest shareholder with 10.8% of Myer, released a copy of a letter sent by legal firm Arnold Bloch Leibler to Myer.
“No reasons were provided for the decision to reverse the historical practice of providing quarterly trading updates to the market,” says the letter from Jeremy Leibler, a partner at Arnold Bloch Leibler.
“Our client is extremely concerned about the implications of this decision.
“In particular, it appears that this policy change was made in bad faith for the improper purpose of depriving shareholders of important information while the company’s leadership and performance are being questioned. The timing of the decision supports this position.”
The legal firm says “continuing to withhold material information” is in contravention of the Corporations Act.
The law firm says further losses are expected for Myer as a result of difficult retail conditions and continued reduced foot traffic.
Premier Investments, the owner of Smiggle, Just Jeans, Portmans and Peter Alexander, also questions whether any third parties, such as Myer’s financiers or advisers, have been provided with trading updates.
Lew plans to use the company’s AGM on November 30 to seek a second strike vote — which needs more than 25% of shareholders — against the remuneration report.
This would mean, following last year’s 29.3% vote against the remuneration report, that all director positions at Myer would be spilled.
Myer in September posted an annual loss of $486 million.
The loss was bigger than Myer’s entire market cap.
John King, who was appointed CEO in June, then said: “Shareholders deserve better.”
The company has been cutting costs, ditching managers and executives, negotiating rent reductions and renegotiating its loan deal with banks.