PRETORIA – Only 26.98 percent of ordinary shareholders voted in favour of the remuneration policy of Shoprite Holdings at the group’s October annual general meeting (AGM), according to a Moneyweb report
This revelation was published on Thursday, where results from the meeting disclosed the votes from the ordinary shares and deferred shares separately for the first time.
The report states that on the second vote on remuneration – that is, its implementation during fiscal 2018 – only 31.44 percent of ordinary shareholders voted in favour. This would mean that there was significant shareholder pushback against both resolutions: 73 percent on the policy and 68.5 percent on pay last year.
This would be the worst performance by a JSE Top 40 company by some margin.
Both resolutions were passed in the aggregate, as votes from both the ordinary shares as well as high-voting deferred shares are combined. The deferred shares – held by Christo Wiese’s Thibault Square Financial Services – carry “about 32.3 percent of the voting rights” of the group. Together with his direct stake in the group – 13.91 percent of ordinary shares – this means he has significant influence, reads the report.
The group announced in February that it was negotiating with Thibault to acquire and then cancel the deferred shares. This would “simplify the company’s voting share structure and align the company with international best corporate governance practice. Furthermore, the proposed transaction will ensure that all remaining shares in the company have equal economic and voting rights,” according to the report.