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Sat August 18 2018

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Mears shareholder drops campaign to oust chairman

24 Jul The board of Mears has appeased an unhappy shareholder trying to sack the chairman by promising to replace him themselves.

Moves to oust Bob Holt have been dropped since he's leaving soon anyway
Moves to oust Bob Holt have been dropped since he's leaving soon anyway

Frankfurt-based Shareholder Value Management (SVM) has withdrawn its request for a shareholder meeting to be convened and accepted the board’s assurances.

SVM, which on behalf of Frankfurter Aktienfonds für Stiftungen, a fund managed by Axxion, earlier this month called for a meeting to vote on the removal of Bob Holt as chairman of the housing maintenance contractor.  They wanted Andrew Hogarth, former CEO of recruitment agency Staffline, brought in as a non-executive director, and preferably chairman, instead.

Mears previously said that it already had its own plans in place to identify a successor for Bob Holt, in accordance with the requirements of good corporate governance, to take over before next spring's annual general meeting. It now expects to name Mr Holt’s successor in October and said it would take SVM’s nomination of Andy Hogarth into consideration.

This was enough for SVM to withdraw its requisition for a general meeting.

The Mears board said today: “In line with previous board appointments, the recruitment of the new chairman will entail a considered, competitive and structured process in accordance with good governance practice. It will be led by Julia Unwin, chair of the company's nomination committee and the senior independent director on the board. Allowing sufficient time for the proper consideration of suitable candidates, the board expects the new chairman to have been identified before the end of October this year and it will consider the appointment of Andrew Hogarth, alongside other candidates, as part of its overall process.”

It added: “The board places great value on having regular dialogue with its institutional shareholders and it welcomes the considered thoughts provided. As a result of this approach, the board believes it has an excellent understanding of the views of its shareholders towards its succession plans and it is confident that this is the best way forward for all Mears shareholders.”

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