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Mears chairman to exit after shareholder’s removal bid

Mears Group has announced chairman Bob Holt will leave the company, just days after a shareholder called for his removal.

Frankfurter Aktienfonds fur Stiftungen, which holds 8.9 per cent of Mears’ shares and is advised by Shareholder Value Management AG (SVM), asked last week for shareholders to vote on removing Mr Holt (pictured) as chairman and appoint Andy Hogarth as a non-executive director to replace him.

SVM said it requested Mr Holt’s removal because it believed he was “unable to devote sufficient time to the company” due to him holding seats on 10 different company boards, including his role as the chair of Lakehouse.

In a release today to the markets, Mears announced Mr Holt had said he would not be seeking re-election at the 2019 annual general meeting.

It also said that, following Mr Holt’s exit, a new candidate would be appointed as a non-executive director.

Mears added that the recruitment of a new chairman should follow its regular process “rather than be circumvented by the wishes of any one shareholder”, stating that an update would be forthcoming.

Mears Group chief executive David Miles hit out at the request for Mr Holt’s removal, labelling it as “frustrating and insulting”.

“In making this announcement today, I must record that I find this public intrusion both frustrating and insulting, especially given the significant dialogue that I have personally had with a number of shareholders in recent months,” he said.

Frankfurter Aktienfonds fur Stiftungen and Shareholder Value Management AG (SVM) have been contacted for comment.

Mears Group has been contacted for further comment.

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