Solomon Lew: 'failed' Myer board has handed its keys to the big banks

Written on the 26 November 2018 by Ben Hall

Solomon Lew: 'failed' Myer board has handed its keys to the big banks

Under-siege Myer Holdings (ASX: MYR) has announced it has completed the refinancing of its bank facility, as Solomon Lew's Premier Investments continues its savage attacks on the department store chain.

The company has extended the maturity to February 2021 and says this will give Myer the "confidence and ability" to deliver its Customer First Plan.

"It (the refinancing) ensures ample liquidity, relaxed covenant conditions and a stable financial platform to improve the financial performance of the business," CFO Nigel Chadwick says.

Myer Chairman Garry Hounsell says the deal was a "vote of confidence in the board and its skilled executive team".

"Importantly, this facility gives us further confidence and ability to deliver our Customer First Plan to create shareholder value and turn around the business, not through promises but through execution and delivery," Hounsell says.

"Under the facility, we have further confidence and ability to set our strategic direction, including paying dividends when we meet financial covenants and it is prudent to do so, and market standard security which allows Myer to trade its business as normal."

Solomon Lew's Premier Investments, which is Myer's biggest shareholder, continued its verbal assault on the board with a short statement released shortly after the refinancing announcement.

"Garry Hounsell has today handed the Myer keys to the big banks, who are now officially in complete control of the business," the statement says.

"The failed Myer Board's capitulation to the big banks means there is no ability to invest in the business, and no ability to pay a dividend to shareholders for the foreseeable future."

The latest stoush between the Myer board and Premier Investments will provide a fiery backdrop to Myer's AGM which will take place this Friday.

So far this year, Myer has had to deal with the sacking of CEO Richard Umbers in February, in March the company dropped out of the ASX200 because of its plunging share price and in September it reported a FY18 loss of $486 million.

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Author: Ben Hall

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