Pressure continues to mount for the beleaguered management of Sports Direct as another influential share holder vocalises its lack of confidence in board members.
The Investor Forum, with combines assets of over £14.5 trillion and represents asset management groups such as BlackRock and Allianz Global Investors, have publicly expressed their doubts over corporate governance failings in the company.
This is the first time the company has gone public in its criticism of another company since its inception in 2014.
“It is highly unusual for the Investor Forum to consider it necessary to make public their concerns and recommendations in this way. In prior situations we have always managed to work privately with companies to create effective long-term solutions,” Forum director Andy Griffiths said.
“We do not take this step lightly and, whilst we welcome Sport Direct’s move to hold an open day, we still have not received an appropriate level of commitment to respond to investor concerns and, as a result, the usual options have been exhausted.”
Following yesterday afternoon’s announcement that the company will allow the public to attend its annual general meeting, this move highlights the mass discontent among stakeholders as to the board members handling of the company.
Many other stakeholders have suggested they will oppose the reappointment of both the company’s founder Mike Ashley and its chairman Keith Hellawell in what’s being dubbed a “mutiny”.
A top 20 investor said: “Directors are supposed to be well informed about the company, independent and ready to stand up for its interests. This is not happening at Sports Direct. Ashley runs it like it is his own plaything.”