The largest shareholder within the proprietor of Wagamama has delivered a sizeable enhance to its board by pledging its assist forward of an important annual assembly this month.
Sky News can reveal Columbia Threadneedle Investments, which owns 19% of The Restaurant Group (TRG), has determined to vote in assist of firm resolutions at its AGM on 23 May.
The resolution to again chief government Andy Hornby’s £792,000 pay bundle for final 12 months comes after activist investor Oasis Management Company – which holds 12% of TRG – urged fellow shareholders to oppose it.
Oasis has been embroiled in an more and more bitter combat with TRG’s chairman, Ken Hanna, and his boardroom colleagues over its administration and technique.
Mr Hanna has rejected Oasis’s calls for for a board seat and expressed continued confidence in Mr Hornby.
In an announcement issued to Sky News, Columbia Threadneedle stated:
“As a long-term shareholder in The Restaurant Group, we stay supportive of TRG’s board and administration workforce, who’ve efficiently navigated the exceptionally powerful trade backdrop.
“The board continues to receive our support as they assess the best options to deliver long-term shareholder value.”
In addition to Wagamama, TRG owns a concessions enterprise at transport hubs, a pubs division and the Chiquito and Frankie & Benny’s informal eating chains.
Last week, it issued a optimistic buying and selling replace and was boosted this week by a analysis word from analysts at Shore Capital who cited its “robust performance”.
Shares in TRG closed on Wednesday 7% increased at 51.2p, giving the corporate a market worth of £366m.
It not too long ago introduced plans to shut 35 underperforming websites, whereas others within the sector, reminiscent of Prezzo, are turning to insolvency mechanisms to implement web site closures.
A spokesperson for TRG stated: “As you will have seen from last week’s trading update, the market’s reaction and upgrades from the analysts, we will continue to let our numbers do the talking.”
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Last week, Mr Hornby stated the corporate had “enjoyed a really positive first four months of the year”.
“Wagamama and our Brunning & Price Pubs continue to trade very strongly and it is especially pleasing to see the consistent growth in ‘dine in’ sales with customers clearly enjoying eating out despite the economic backdrop.
“Our Concessions enterprise can also be performing significantly strongly as air journey continues to get better.”
Glass Lewis, the proxy adviser, has beneficial that TRG shareholders vote with Oasis, whereas the Investment Association’s voting advisory service has backed Mr Hanna over Mr Hornby’s pay.