Endeavour share price hits new low amid threat of EGM to sack company chair

The Endeavour share price hit a new all-time low of $5.06 this morning.

| More on:
a man sits alone in his house with a dejected look on his face as he looks at a glass of red wine he is holding in his hand with an open bottle on the table in front of him.

Image source: Getty Images

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The Endeavour Group Ltd (ASX: EDV) share price hit a new all-time low of $5.06 this morning amid news that a major shareholder has threatened to call an emergency general meeting (EGM) to sack the chair.

Meantime, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is rising 0.4% to 6,872.1 points in early trading on Tuesday.

Here's a rundown on the latest chapter in Endeavour's boardroom brawl.

Time to 'hit the emergency button', says major shareholder

Pubs billionaire Bruce Mathieson Senior, who owns a 15% stake in Endeavour Group, has threatened to call an EGM with a motion to vote Endeavour chair Peter Hearl out.

According to reporting in The Australian today, Mathieson Snr has issued a statement in which he says the company needs "fundamental changes" amid an unacceptable trough in the Endeavour share price.

Mathieson said:

The share price is trading again near all-time lows which is unacceptable. When is someone in the company going to smash the glass and hit the emergency button?

I know what it takes to build a successful business and I can smell a guy that has no idea and that's Peter Hearl – he has to go, no ifs and buts.

He should accept that his position is untenable and step down at the AGM. That is the only pathway to stopping the tension with shareholders and giving this company a fighting chance at recovery.

Over recent weeks, Mathieson Snr has been vocal in his outrage over what he says is an attempt by the board to block former Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) boss and fellow Endeavour shareholder Bill Wavish from becoming a director.

The saga over Bill Wavish

Wavish has nominated himself for a seat on the Endeavour board.

Shareholders will vote on his candidacy at the annual general meeting on 31 October.

Following Wavish's nomination, the board initially said it would not allow a vote to proceed unless Wavish had a number of regulatory approvals in place before the AGM.

The board later bowed to public pressure from Mathieson and reversed its decision after consulting with the ASX.

In his statement today, Mathieson added:

Every step of the way the board has put roadblocks in front of Bill (Wavish). I wish Bill every success at the AGM though I recognise it won't be easy given the Endeavour board's obsession with maintaining the status quo.

AGMs come and go. I'm here to stay. I have got $1.5bn of my family's money invested in this company and a lifetime of our work.

I am not going to sit by and watch this great company fail due to poor leadership. I will do whatever is necessary, for however long, to effect change. This starts with getting rid of Peter Hearl.

Wavish is also critical of the current board, and has previously commented that "it's a travesty to see the amount of money that's being lost" and a "much-needed turnaround" is required.

Endeavour board maintains recommendation to vote against Wavish

Wavish was a senior executive at Woolworths when Mathieson Snr sold his hotels business to them.

During his time at Woolworths, Wavish oversaw the expansion of Dan Murphy's and helped create the BWS bottle-shop network.

In the notice of the AGM to shareholders, the board recommended that shareholders vote against Wavish.

In his own statement contained within the notice, Wavish told shareholders that he helped make Woolworths the market leader in liquor sales and grew its network from 42 to 574 outlets in five years.

Hearl recently warned shareholders not to believe everything they hear from The Bruce Mathieson Group.

In a letter lodged with the ASX on 10 October, he said:

The Bruce Mathieson Group campaign has used selective and incomplete information which has the potential to confuse shareholders as to the Company's performance.

The letter outlines the board's response to several claims made by the Mathieson Group.

Endeavour share price snapshot

Endeavour shares have fallen 31% over the past 12 months and are down 19% in the year to date.

Motley Fool contributor Bronwyn Allen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

More on 52-Week Lows

A man holds his head in his hands, despairing at the bad result he's reading on his computer.
Materials Shares

Core Lithium share price hits a multi-year low: Will the tide change soon?

Are analysts now seeing value emerge from the lithium miner's shares?

Read more »

Red arrow going down on a stock market table which symbolises a falling share price.
52-Week Lows

2 ASX shares to buy that are at 52-week lows

Goldman Sachs thinks these beaten down shares are buys.

Read more »

A group of six young people doing the limbo on a beach, indicating oversold shares that can not go any lower.
52-Week Lows

Core Lithium share price dives another 12%. How low can it go?

Core Lithium has been playing a game of limbo with investors in 2024...

Read more »

Man on a laptop thinking.
52-Week Lows

2 ASX shares to buy that are near 52-week lows

Analysts think these beaten-down shares could be top buys.

Read more »

A man sitting at a computer is blown away by what he's seeing on the screen, hair and tie whooshing back as he screams argh in panic.
52-Week Lows

3 ASX 300 shares hitting new 52-week lows: Are they cheap buys?

What's sending these shares down to new lows today?

Read more »

A man slumps crankily over his morning coffee as it pours with rain outside.
Materials Shares

Why did this ASX All Ords stock just crash 24%?

What is weighing down this lithium stock today? Let's find out.

Read more »

A businesswoman gets angry, shaking her fist at her computer.
52-Week Lows

3 ASX shares at 52-week lows or worse

Times have been hard for owners of these shares.

Read more »

Blue chips with stock written on them.
52-Week Lows

These 3 ASX blue-chip shares just hit multi-year lows. Am I buying?

Here's what I'd do with these battered blue-chip shares...

Read more »