RBR Capital Advisors and Camox Master Fund, two hedge funds based in the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg that together hold an 11.3 percent stake in travel services company gategroup, have informed the board of directors of gategroup that they will be seeking the election of two new board members.
The two new board members are in addition to the two members elected to the board at the request of the funds at the 2015 annual general meeting (AGM). The additions include a new chairman of the board, at the forthcoming 2016 AGM.
This shareholder group is also calling for the resignation of current chairman Andreas Schmid and of another director and is seeking changes in gategroup's strategy and management.
But gategroup’s board of directors has said it rejects the attempt by the two hedge funds to put pressure on the firm. The board said it believes that another significant change in the governance of gategroup would not be in the best interests of the company, which it said performed well last year.
gategroup said it is in the process of successfully implementing a new strategy and has returned to revenue growth and increased profitability. The company’s positive operational performance is reflected by an impressive 56 percent rise in its share price in 2015.
“In the interests of continuing the company’s positive performance, the nomination committee of the Board of Directors unanimously recommends the re-election at the 2016 AGM of current Board members David Barger, Remo Brunschwiler, Frederick Reid, Julie Southern and Anthonie Stal, as well as Andreas Schmid as chairman of the Board of Directors. It recommends that Gerard van Kesteren is not re-elected,” the company said.
“The Board of Directors, apart from Gerard van Kesteren, is fully aligned with the management and intends to continue creating long-term value for shareholders. Bearing in mind its fiduciary duty to all shareholders, the Board of Directors, except Gerard van Kesteren, believes that any change to the company’s agreed strategy and new management team would be counterproductive.”
Gategroup, RBR Capital Advisors, Camox Master Fund, Cayman