Myer board cops first 'strike'

Myer board cops first 'strike'

Myer's (ASX: MYR) beleaguered board of directors copped another blow this afternoon when shareholders delivered a 'strike' against a proposed renumeration package at today's annual general meeting.

With 33.3 per cent of shareholders rejecting the package the vote eclipsed the 25 per cent strike rule, putting the board on notice.

Under the rule, which was introduced in 2011, if a company has two strikes in a row the board may be voted out of office.

However, with major shareholder Solomon Lew turning up the heat on the Myer board calling on them all to resign, they may not get the chance to record a second strike next year. 

It was a hard day for the Myer board, with chairman Garry Hounsell resigning just hours before the AGM after the company's two biggest shareholders, Lew and Sydney fund manager Geoff Wilson, indicated they would not support his return to the position.


Shareholder revolt claims Myer chairman hours before AGM


At the AGM, shareholders repeatedly questioned when the company would pay a dividend again, to which acting chair JoAnne Stephenson could only say the company was focused on prudent fiscal management.

"We are committed to reinstating the dividend when we believe it is appropriate to do so.," she said.

Stephenson also indicated her concern over Myers' moribund share price.

"I am disappointed with the share price performance and acknowledged shareholders frustration with the performance of the share price," she said.

"I believe there are several factors that have adversely affected Meyers share price so far in 2020, including concerns relating to the social and economic impact of COVID19, and the associated travel restrictions."

CEO John King reiterated the company's desire to shed floor space, whether through losing space at stores or closures.

"As we said we put a target of 110,000 sqm, which we believe is eminently achievable," he said.

"We've absolutely confirmed 60,000 sqm, there's probably another 50,000 sqm that's under negotiation right now. 

He said the company had the ability to exit or reduce floorspace at another 21 stores over the next eight years.

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