Just Eat Takeaway shareholders approved resolutions to reappoint key board members despite criticism from its activist investor.
The delivery service made headlines ahead of its AGM on Wednesday morning, with news of the departure of its chairman and an investigation into its COO.
However, despite pressure from activist investor Cat Rock last month, shareholders of the delivery firm voted to approve the reappointments of other board members.
Cat Rock, which holds a 6.88 per cent stake as the firm’s second largest shareholder, had appealed to shareholders to vote against the reappointment of chief financial officer Brent Wissink and the supervisory board.
In a letter to shareholders on 25 April, Alex Captain, Cat Rock founder and managing partner, said the firm’s potential was going to waste due to “poor capital allocation, failed financial management, and lack of credibility with capital markets.”
The investor has also been sceptical of the company’s acquisition of its US arm Grubhub, with Captain dubbed the deal as a “capital allocation mistake”.
Chief executive Jitse Groen said last month the company was mulling several options including a sale of Grubhub.
Speaking at Wednesday’s AGM, Captain said a spin off or sale of the business “has to happen and it has to happen quickly,” , according to the Reuters news agency.
The investor also asked the board to take an offer for the US business seriously and to shift focus to JET’s European offering.
JET would “look at any offer that is of interest to all stakeholders,” chairman Adriaan Nuehn replied.
A dramatic meeting also saw Pieter Taselaar, founding partner at Lucerne Capital Management, argue that shareholders had lost faith in the firm’s leadership and request a strategic review.
Taselaar asked: “Why not announce a full evaluation of all options, a full strategic review of all assets?”
Prior to the AGM, the Danish company said it had withdrawn the opportunity to reppoint Jörg Gerbig, COO and member of the board, after a formal complaint alleging personal misconduct at a company event. The company did not specify what the behaviour in question had been or when it was thought to have occurred.
An investigation into the allegation was currently underway and no conclusions had yet been drawn, JET said.
The delivery firm also revealed chairman Nühn would not run for re-election of the supervisory board, with vice-chair,Corinne Vigreux, taking on the role while a replacement is found.
“It is clear that shareholders have concerns about the challenges the company is facing,” said Nühn. “It has been a privilege to serve as chairman since the company’s IPO.”
JET’s share price was down more than nine per cent when trading closed on Wednesday evening.
“Despite today’s unfortunate news on the personal misconduct review of the COO, the Just Eat Takeaway.com Supervisory Board has a great opportunity to appoint a high-quality permanent chairperson to drive positive change at the company and restore its trust with the capital markets,” Cat Rock’s Alex Captain told CityA.M. on Wednesday evening.
“We know there are excellent candidates for the role and look forward to positive news on a chairperson nomination in the coming weeks,” he added.