Aug 22, 2018

Sports Direct shareholders urged to vote against directors

Sports Direct's billionaire founder Mike Ashley and his chairman Keith Hellawell face a fraught annual meeting in September after independent shareholders were urged to vote against the re-election of the two men to the board. Glass Lewis, a shareholder advisory company, has made its recommendation ahead of the company's annual meeting on September 12, following years of "Poor governance" and disappointing responses to shareholder worries. Sports Direct has had several years of revolts at its annual meetings, with independent shareholders voting against Mr Hellawell's re-election at the 2016 meeting and a subsequent extraordinary general meeting. Mr Hellawell again narrowly retained his chairmanship last year - just over half of independent shareholders backed his re-election. A bonus scheme in 2014 provoked so much anger that Mr Ashley later withdrew himself from it, while an attempt to pay Mr Ashley's brother £11m in back pay for his previous role as the company's IT director was blocked by independent shareholders in December last year.

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