Sep 1, 2017

Sports Direct chairman faces fresh investor revolt

Keith Hellawell faces his biggest challenge yet as chairman of Mike Ashley's Sports Direct, as calls for his resignation threaten to break out into a full-scale revolt at the retail group's annual meeting next week. The sportswear chain is under pressure from a slump in profitability while a high-profile court case in June detailing the hard-drinking antics of Mr Ashley, the founder and chief executive of Sports Direct, put the spotlight on the group's management. He has said he will step down if a majority of independent shareholders revolt against him, rather than relying on Mr Ashley to use his controlling stake in Sports Direct again to force through his reappointment. Sports Direct said: "Our Notice of AGM makes it clear that Keith Hellawell has the full support of his fellow directors. The board recommends that independent shareholders vote in favour of Keith's re-election, as Mike Ashley and the other directors intend to do in respect of their own shareholdings." Sacha Sadan, director of corporate governance at LGIM, said the company has voted against the re-election of Mr Hellawell as chairman since 2014.

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