Activist investors in Gildan Activewear will have chance to bring back fired CEO at special meeting

Gildan attire at a retailer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023. 

Graham Hughes | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The board of administrators for Gildan Activewear, going through strain from activists to reinstate the corporate’s fired CEO, have agreed to name a special meeting that would decide who finally ends up at the helm and whether or not the board stays intact.

Glenn Chamandy was ousted in December by Gildan’s board, which initially offered no motive for the transfer and stated Vince Tyra could be the brand new CEO. Since then, the board alleged that Chamandy was distracted by non-Gildan enterprise pursuits, like a Barbados golf course, and that he threatened to give up except administrators backed an acquisition-focused development technique.

Chamandy denies each claims and says the board is pursuing a “value-destructive” technique by undermining his fame and never listening to its shareholders.

Shortly after Chamandy was fired, funding agency Browning West, which at the time owned 3.9% of Gildan’s inventory, despatched a letter to the Montreal-based firm’s board, demanding Chamandy’s reinstatement. The funding agency has grown its place to round 5% and constructed sufficient momentum among the many shareholder base that the board on Monday agreed to calling a special meeting. It’s scheduled for the tip of May.

In a statement Monday, Browning West’s co-founders Peter Lee and Usman Nabi stated Gildan’s board was demonstrating a “full disregard for sound company governance and a complete lack of respect for the will of shareholders” by setting the special meeting for May and “selecting to waste shareholder sources” by difficult Browning West’s authorized standing to request a meeting.

Browning West’s transfer is uncommon in the activist world, the place investors are extra usually targeted on changing CEOs than backing them. But Browning West, which relies in Los Angeles, has gained the help of eight different main current shareholders, together with Anson Funds, Janus Henderson and Turtle Creek Asset Management, all of that are supporting Browning West’s push to reinstate Chamandy as CEO.

Chamandy is the grandson of Gildan’s founder and helped take the corporate public in 1998. He had been sole CEO since 2004.

Browning West, a long-time shareholder, factors to Chamandy’s success in an more and more aggressive business as one motive why he must be CEO. The activewear area has been hotly contested in current years, as a pandemic-driven pivot to leisurewear confirmed endurance even after many staff returned to the workplace.

Meanwhile, Tyra’s report, the fir. says, is certainly one of “worth destruction.” He beforehand had roles at Fruit of the Loom, which filed for chapter, and Broder Brothers, which went by way of a monetary restructuring.

Gildan’s board is led by Donald Berg, the previous CFO of Brown-Forman. Berg has served on Gildan’s board since 2015 and has been chair since 2019. The firm has enlisted the support of Coliseum Capital, a Connecticut-based funding supervisor.

Browning West seeks to change Berg and 7 other directors with their very own nominees, together with Chamandy and Browning West’s Lee.

Gildan says it is “prepared and keen” to have interaction with shareholders, however disputes the legality of how Browning West elevated its possession place from slightly below 4% to round 5%. But the corporate hasn’t proven a transparent dedication to placing the vote to shareholders. Last week, Gildan utilized to a Quebec courtroom to nullify Browning West’s request and to cancel the meeting.

Browning West stated it was “contemplating all of its rights” and urged the board to not delay the meeting additional. Gildan referred CNBC to its prior statements.

Gildan’s inventory worth is down round 8% since Chamandy’s firing, whereas the S&P 500 is up 7% over that stretch.

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