Myer offers to discuss board representation with top shareholder as pressure mounts

Australia’s Myer Holdings Ltd said on Wednesday it was open to discussing board representation with its largest investor, billionaire Solomon Lew, after he raised his stake in the high-street retailer and called for revamp of its board.

“We are keen to have Board matters resolved as soon as possible,” Myer’s acting chairman JoAnne Stephenson said in a statement.

Lew, whose Premier Investments now owns a 15.77% stake in Myer after buying further shares in the high-street department store chain on Tuesday, has been critical of its management and demanded representation on the board.

Myer’s previous chairman Gary Hounsell had to step down last year after he failed to gather support from Premier and the company’s second largest shareholder Wilson Asset Management.

“The Board is focused on ensuring that (Chief Executive Officer) John King and his management team are able to execute the all-important upcoming peak trading period without distraction,” Stephenson added.

Myer and other brick-and-mortar retailers have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic and have had to depend on millions of dollars in government support.