Shots Fired as the Battle Between Solomon Lew and Myer Rages On

April Davis By April Davis | 04 Oct 2018

Good ol’ Lew never stays quiet for long, with his latest attempt to overthrow the Myer board showing just how far he’s willing to go to get rid of CEO, John King and Chairman, Garry Hounsell.

Solomon Lew’s company, Premier Investments is gearing up for another assault on Myer’s board as the company uses clauses from the Corporations Act to demand an updated copy of Myer’s register of shareholders.
“Premier Investments Limited wishes to advise that it has requested under sections 173(3) and 672DA(8) of the Corporations Act 2001 from Myer Holdings Limited, a copy of both Myer’s register of members and the register maintained by Myer in accordance with section 672DA(1) of the Act,” Premier’s statement read.
The owner of competing retail brands, Smiggle, Portmans, Just Jeans and Peter Alexander says it wants the register in the lead up to Myer’s AGM.
“Premier has requested these registers in order to consider writing to Myer’s members in relation to any resolutions proposed at Myer’s AGM this year.”
Lew’s attacks against Myer and its board of directors have been frequent over the last 12-months, with his latest blue stemming from Myer’s poor FY18 results.
After reporting a 3.2 percent loss in sales in mid-September, Lew, whose business holds a 10.8 percent stake in Myer, called the business a “disgrace”.
“The board of Myer is an absolute disgrace,” he said in a release, “And while the board of Myer, led by Garry Hounsell, has bumbled along and taken their fee cheques, it is Myer’s shareholders who have suffered.”
With a reported $486 million loss over the last year, and further difficulties predicted for the coming years as the company continues to suffer from slow sales, restructuring and store exit costs and asset impairments, Lew believes Myer’s goodwill with its partners is at risk, with losses set to rise as a result of reported increases in interest costs.
While Lew’s opinion of Myer and its leaders is no secret, he does seem to be ramping up his efforts to discredit and overthrow the board, which onlookers worry could be a conflict of interest given Lew’s own business ventures.
Meanwhile, Premier has had a fruitful FY18, reporting a 65.3 percent growth rate in its online business across its key brands.
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