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Retail magnate Philip Day set to contest Stobart chairmanship

The high street billionaire behind brands including Jaeger and Peacocks will be seeking to unseat the chairman of Stobart Group as part of a shareholder rebellion against the company’s board.
Philip Day will pitch himself against incumbent chairman Iain Ferguson after a group of investors backed by Stobart’s former boss Andrew Tinkler and fund manager Neil Woodford moved to get Mr Ferguson removed.
Stobart, which owns Southend Airport, said investors with more than 33pc of the company’s shares backed Mr Day’s nomination as chairman. His candidacy will be decided by Stobart's nomination committee in a process separate to the annual general meeting (AGM) whereby shareholders will vote on whether to re-appoint Mr Ferguson.
Besides Mr Tinkler and Mr Woodford, Allan Jenkinson, whose AW Jenkinson Forest Products created a joint venture with Stobart in 2011 to create what is now its biomass business, also backed the move.
Stobart said it had already identified “an excellent female candidate” to replace John Garbutt, the remuneration committee chairman who is standing down from the company at the AGM, but that this would now have to be put on hold until after the vote on the chairman.
Retail magnate Philip Day set to contest Stobart chairmanship

Former Stobart boss Andrew Tinkler is trying to eject chairman Iain Ferguson in favour of his nominee Philip Day

Credit:
Stobart
The company said it would consider Mr Day’s candidature and then advise shareholders on whether it thinks they should vote for him or not.
The spat flared up last month when Mr Tinkler, who only stepped down as chief executive last year, revealed he would not be voting for Mr Ferguson at the upcoming AGM, which has no confirmed date yet.
It then became clear he was being supported by Mr Woodford, one of the largest shareholders on the register. The fund manager’s former employer, Invesco Asset Management, supports Mr Ferguson.
Retail magnate Philip Day set to contest Stobart chairmanship

Fund manager Neil Woodford is backing Andrew Tinkler in his boardroom battle at Stobart Group

Credit:
Jeff Gilbert
Mr Tinkler, who is still a director at the firm, contends his motive for shaking up the board was to “ensure that the company sticks to the agreed strategy".
"This strategy is best executed and underpinned by strong corporate governance standards,” he said. “My view is that a change of chairman would help to achieve that objective, and I know that view is shared by a number of major shareholders.”
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