Jul 18, 2018

Premier Foods CEO survives large shareholder protest vote

Shareholders in Mr Kipling cake maker Premier Foods have registered a significant protest vote against the re-election of its embattled chief executive Gavin Darby, who an activist investor has been trying to oust. According to the latest count of proxy votes from Premier's AGM on Wednesday, 41.07 of votes cast were against Mr Darby staying on as CEO, while 58.92 per cent were in favour. Mr Darby, backed by chairman Keith Hamill, has been defending his strategy of cutting costs and investing in brand innovations, winning the support of Premier's pension trustees and some influential investor advisory groups. With Premier, Oasis has argued that the sale of Batchelor's could raise £200m and allow Premier to hit its debt reduction target immediately, rather than in 2020. Chairman Mr Hamill, speaking to a group of reporters on Tuesday evening, said that some shareholders in Premier "Are not enthusiastic about asset sales unless they are at exceptional prices."

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