THE BOTTOM LINE
Is Grand Parade burgering up the works with its board?
‘Activist’ shareholders want directors with more experience in rolling out Burger King franchise
There’s going to be a tense showdown at Grand Parade Investments (GPI) at the end of next month.
An extraordinary shareholder meeting will consider proposals from shareholders – who speak for 12% of GPI – to nominate four new directors to the board. GPI’s executive is not entirely enamoured with the proposals, and suggests board changes will compromise the spirit of a community-based broad-based black economic empowerment company.
What’s more, GPI executives – notwithstanding the group’s steep share price decline over the last five years – are adamant the existing strategy should not be disrupted.
The “activist” shareholders – comprising asset managers Denker Capital, Excelsia Capital, Kagiso Asset Management, Westbrook Alternative Asset Management, and Rozendal Partners – have stressed the current board’s skills and experience are not aligned to the company’s strategic intent, which revolves mainly around rolling out the Burger King fast food franchise.
The proposed new board members can’t really be faulted – and it seems strange that GPI’s executives are so resistant.
Seapei Mafoyane is CEO of Shanduka Black Umbrellas with extensive previous executive experience at SABMiller, Standard Bank and Discovery Health. Mark Bowman is a former MD for SABMiller Africa, while Cora Fernandez is a former CEO of Sanlam Investments.
Perhaps the most intriguing candidate for the GPI board is Ronel van Dijk, previously CFO of Spur Corporation (where GPI is a significant minority shareholder). Van Dijk’s insights into the fast food and restaurant sector could be invaluable for the ongoing Burger King thrust.