Stobart Group – trouble at the top

The trouble at board level of Stobart Group Apex Insight reported own last week is starting to develop. In response to the statement from the rest of the board, director Andrew Tinkler has released his own statement, and seemingly in response to this the Board has delayed the forthcoming AGM to an unspecified date.

Tinkler has stated that his opponents on the board have issued “false and defamatory material about me, and information regarding the company that I consider to be misleading”.

He went onto state that he believes Stobart Group needs a new chairman and that he is to write to shareholders in the coming days to urge them to cast their cote against the re-election of current chairman Iain Ferguson.

The statement continued, “There is a disagreement among Stobart Board Directors over the implementation of future strategy of the Stobart Group. My only objective is to ensure that the Company sticks to the agreed company strategy and does not deviate from this, as this will deliver the best returns for shareholders. This strategy is best executed and underpinned by strong corporate governance standards.

“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. The current Chairman, Mr Iain Ferguson, has however resisted any suggestion that he should resign and has decided, with the support of certain other directors, to make that disagreement public, rather than allowing time for discussions to continue in private and for proper soundings to be taken from the Company’s major shareholders.

“I very much regret that the Chairman has resorted to personal insult in this discussion. I warned the Chairman and his supporters on the Board that the announcement issued on 29 May contains false and defamatory material about me, and information regarding the Company that I consider to be misleading.

“Nevertheless, the Chairman and his supporters authorised the release of the announcement containing that material. I think that amply demonstrates a lack of prioritisation of company strategy and shortcomings in corporate governance standards, illustrating some of the reasons why I believe that a change of Chairman is required.

“I will be writing to shareholders in due course to urge them to cast their vote against the re-election of Mr Ferguson at the Company’s forthcoming AGM.”

Seemingly in response to Tinkler’s moves, the Stobart Group board has delayed the forthcoming AGM that was set for the 28th of June.

In a statement, the Stobart Group board said the AGM would be “at a date slightly later which will be announced in due course. The AGM documentation will be despatched as soon as the new date has been set.”