Stock Spirits goes head-to-head with rebel shareholders, led by Western Gate Private Investments' Luis Amaral, at AGM

 
Francesca Washtell
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Stock Spirits Group is the leading flavoured vodka producer in Poland, although it has a sizeable presence across central Europe (Source: Getty)

The board of European drinks firm Stock Spirits will face rebel investors seeking boardroom and strategy changes at its annual general meeting (AGM) tomorrow.

Western Gate Private Investments, led by Portuguese cash-and-carry tycoon Luis Amaral, has nominated two non-executive directors – Alberto da Ponte and Randy Pankevicz – to be admitted to the board and has also tabled a vote on the company's M&A strategy.

Western Gate, which owns almost 10 per cent of the company’s shares, has been publicly critical of Stock Spirits' strategy in recent months.

Read more: Voices grow for change at Stock Spirits' AGM

City A.M. understands that a number of other shareholders, including Skagen, Franklin Templeton Investment Management, which has a 4.2 per cent stake in the company, azValor Asset Management, which owns 3.3 per cent, and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System have all announced they will vote with Amaral and against Stock Spirits' board of directors at the meeting.

As a result of the row between Stock Spirits and Western Gate, chief executive Chris Heath stepped down in late April.

The spirits firm has grappled a duty increase in Poland, the loss of market share and management turmoil.

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