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Premier Foods up as major shareholder renews calls for CEO to step down

Oasis Management has urged shareholders not to reappoint Gavin Darby at next month’s AGM, claiming that the 61-year-old has driven Premier “into its current zombie-like state”
premier foods products
Oasis has a 9.3% stake in the company, which makes Bisto gravy granules and Angel Delight whipped desserts

Shares in Premier Foods PLC (LON:PFD) rose on Monday after one of the Mr Kipling owner’s major shareholders called for chief executive Gavin Darby to be removed.

Hong Kong-based Oasis Management blamed Darby for “years of persistent shareholder value destruction, poor financial performance, consistent missed targets, a lack of strategy and weak corporate governance”.

READ: Premier Foods makes headway as sales and profits rise, debt pile shrinks (a little)

The hedge fund added that it has “completely lost faith” in the 61-year-old and would be voting against his reappointment at next month’s annual general meeting. Oasis, which owns 9.3% of Premier, has urged other shareholders to do the same.

Premier’s second-largest shareholder wants to replace him, on a temporary basis, with the company’s finance director, Alastair Murray.

The Oxo cube and Ambrosia custard maker hit back though, stating that it “strongly believes” Darby is the best person to take it forward.

Premier shares are up 2.7% to 38.1p, well below the 65p-a-share offer from McCormick which Darby rejected back in 2016.

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