Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments has asked for Myer’s shareholder register as it prepares another campaign to topple the board of directors of at the department store chain.
Premier, which is the largest single shareholder of Myer with a 10.8% stake, is preparing an extraordinary shareholders meeting. Premier, which also owns Just Jeans, Portmans and Peter Alexander, is run by former David Jonnes CEO Mark McInnes.
“Premier strongly believes that a new Myer board with relevant expertise and experience in retail, property and business is required as a matter of urgency,” says Premier.
“It is not in the best interests of shareholders that the current Myer board be allowed to preside over another year of declining sales, eroding profits and further share price deterioration before urgently needed change is introduced at board level.”
Premier says it will use the register to seek the views of shareholders and to determine independent candidates for the Myer board.
The current board of directors survived a vote at November’s AGM despite Lew urging shareholders to vote against them.
Myer, and its competitor David Jones, have been hit by the retail crunch, an increasingly competitive market with digital players making inroads into market share, and reducing levels of consumer sentiment.
The company in December warned of that poor trading conditions are expected to result in a “profit shortfall” that is unlikely to be recovered before the end of the first half.
Total sales to the end of November were down 2.3% and down 1.8% on a comparable store sales basis.
In January Myer announced a major restructure of its management team, emphasising the importance to the department store of digital skills.
A new position, that of chief operating officer (COO), has been created and the chief financial officer replaced.