SOLOMON LEW SETS UP SHOWDOWN WITH MYER BOARD

SOLOMON LEW SETS UP SHOWDOWN WITH MYER BOARD

MYER'S (ASX: MYR) fiercest critic and chairman of Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV), Solomon Lew, has set up the potential for a showdown with the board of the struggling department store by asking for its list of shareholders.

Premier released a short statement to the ASX late on Wednesday and said it has made the request in order to consider writing to Myer's members about any resolutions proposed for Myer's annual general meeting in November.

The move has spurred speculation of the billionaire rag trader's intentions to push for a seat on the board of the struggling department store.

Lew (pictured right with CEO Mark McInnes) earlier this week blasted Myer's retail inventory as "belonging in the Salvation Army" and said the company had "lost its way".

Premier, which has investments in Smiggle and Peter Alexander, purchased a 10.77 per cent stake in Myer in March which has since lost around a third of its value.

Shares in Premier continue to slide after the company reported a modest annual profit increase earlier in the week and its shares hit a three month low as a result.

Premier's shares fell almost seven per cent in the two days after the company released its financial results, and were down a further three per cent on Wednesday at $12.58.

Analysts have recognised Premier's apparel brands as the deadweight on the company's earnings, particularly Jacqui E, Portmans, Just Jeans, JayJays and Dotti.

Lew isn't the only hostile shareholder potentially gunning for a seat at Myer's table. Investors Mutual, helmed by Anton Tagliaferro, has also criticised the department store for its collapsed earnings and strategic missteps.

Speaking to The Australian, Tagliaferro says the Myer board needs more experience to dig itself out of its self-made hole.

"We believe the retail environment is fairly challenging, and there are lots of moving parts, and yes I don't think a bit of experience proven retail experience on the board would go amiss," Tagliaferro says.

Investors Mutual currently holds a 10 per cent stake in Myer.

Myer's collapse has been attributed to two major missteps, after the group invested heavily in UK brand Topshop and saw its Sass & Bide label struggle to maintain relevance in the retail sector.

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