Corporate governance body sides against Laxey
Corporate governance body RREV has weighed into the battle for control of garden centre group Wyevale with a recommendation that investors reject rebel shareholder Laxey's EGM resolutions.

Laxey and Wyevale's board will clash next Thursday, at the second EGM in three months. Laxey failed to unseat Wyevale directors at an earlier meeting in September.

The hedge fund has campaigned throughout the year to oust the retailer's chairman, David Williams, and replace him with its candidate, Robert Ware. However, Laxey's objectives have remained unclear and there is widespread suspicion that it views Wyevale as a property play.

Despite a compromise proposal from Wyevale's board under which Williams agreed to stand down and Ware become a non-executive director, the hedge fund has refused to budge.

RREV, a joint venture of the National Association of Pension Funds and Institutional Shareholder Services, urged support for Wyevale's board and questioned Laxey's motives.

'We believe that Laxey, as the company's biggest shareholder, is attempting to gain effective control without making a general offer for the company and without paying a premium for control,' said RREV.

'The apparent unwillingness of Laxey to explain its proposed strategy is a matter of particular concern. Consequently we believe these proposed changes would not be in the best interests of all shareholders.'