Premier Seeks “Common Sense” from Myer, Pressure to Share FY21 Results and Remove EGM

Power Retail By Power Retail | 03 Aug 2021

Premier Investments is seeking ‘common sense’ from the Myer board as it continues to seek out nominations for a director.

Premier – Myer’s largest shareholder – has proposed and ‘expects’ to see a refreshed Myer Board, which would likely include a ‘majority of well-credentialed’ independent non-executive directors, an independent Chairman and two Premier nominees.

“For a long time, Myer’s few remaining directors have been unable to attract well-credentialed independent non-executive directors to join the Board and have made no progress in appointing a permanent Chairman,” the statement read.

Additionally, Premier Investments is requesting that FY21 results be shared immediately since no updates have been made for the company since March this year. Historically, Myer’s full-year results are shared in early September. Still, Premier is requesting that the retailer commits to “allowing an appropriate window of opportunity after the release of the company’s results before calling this year’s AGM,” the statement read.

According to Premier, this would allow:

  • Premier’s proposed independent non-executive directors to assess the opportunity of joining the Myer Board based on current financial and trading information before confirming their commitment.
  • The Myer Board to consider Premier’s proposed independent non-executive directors for nomination in Myer’s 2021 Notice of Annual General Meeting.

Premier also stated that agreeing to this “common-sense request” would provide all Myer shareholders with an “opportunity to decide on the composition of the Myer Board at the 2021 Annual General Meeting without an unnecessary, distracting and expensive EGM, the cost of which would be borne by Myer shareholders.”

Premier Investments is the major shareholder of Myer, with 15.77 percent of the overall share of the retailer. This stake was upped in early July when the business acquired a further 41.1 million shares at $0.40 a share.

Solomon Lew, the Chairman of Premier Investments, explained that Myer has stated that they are ‘committed to working constructively’ with Premier. “The Myer Board have stated that they are committed to working constructively with Premier as its largest shareholder, and our proposal is a constructive and pragmatic way of resolving the composition of the new Myer Board, which is demonstrably in the best interests of all shareholders,” he shared.

“The Myer Board has the capacity to make a common-sense decision which will avoid a costly EGM and ensure a smooth transition. Since Myer’s March 2021 release, Australian retailers have had to deal with continuous temporary closures in response to COVID-19 outbreaks across all major cities, constant changes in Australian consumer confidence and the continued fluctuation of shopping activity in Australia’s CBD stores, where Myer has a very significant portion of its major stores,” he said.

Myer incurred a $172 million Net Loss After Tax last year, Lew said, which was exacerbated by the pandemic. With further uncertainty, Lew requested that Myer “immediately update the market on its expected FY21 results.”

According to the retailer, Myer’s HY21 results were ‘strong’ in growth, up 71 percent to $287.6 million. Online sales made up 21 percent of the total sales, but its overall sales were down 13.1 percent to $1.398 million.

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