Sports Direct shareholders are expected to vote against the re-election of the chairman Keith Hellawell and other board members at September’s AGM in protest at Mike Ashley’s bonus.
Ashley, the founder of the company, was awarded a multi-million pound bonus scheme after it was pushed through earlier this week. It was the third attempt to find a bonus deal that investors were happy with.
Under the deal, as many as 25 million shares, worth about £200m, will be divided between 3,000 employees. To achieve the payout, Sports Direct’s EBITDA has to reach £480m at the end of the 2016 financial year and then £750m by 2019. Last year, the business posted annual underlying earnings of £287.9m. It is not clear how much of the bonus Ashley will receive.
But investors unhappy with the move are planning action through the Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) investment committee and the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), The Guardian reported.
One shareholder said: “The overriding impression created by this episode is of an incredibly weak board. At some stage, Mike Ashley is going to want other shareholders to support him on something, and if relations between him and other shareholders are so poor he may not get that support. This is now a public company and that requires different standards.”