Pendragon boss Bill Berman’s future hangs in the balance as the row over ‘excessive’ pay hots up.
Major shareholder Hedin Group – which owns 13.77 per cent of the company and is the second-biggest shareholder – issued a statement today (May 17) saying it would be voting against his reappointment as chairman and chief executive at this coming Wednesday’s annual meeting.
It will also oppose reappointing Mike Wright as chairman of the remuneration committee and will vote against approving the 2020 remuneration report, saying that it wrote to all other major shareholders last week asking for their support.
Today’s announcement follows last week’s revelation that Berman was facing a shareholder revolt over the proposed pay deal that could see him earn more than £3.2m.
Shareholders are reported to be angry over the decision by Pendragon, which owns the Stratstone and Evans Halshaw brands, to shed some 1,800 jobs and close 15 sites at the same time as getting millions in furlough cash.
Hedin Group chief executive Anders Hedin said today: ‘Last year we voted against this excess.
‘This policy currently operated by the board could see this year’s rewards for Mr Berman exceeding £3.2m.
‘This needs to stop as it is totally out of tune with what all other stakeholders in the company are experiencing and the amount of taxpayer support received.
‘There is still no independent chairman of the company to represent shareholders and stop this excessive executive director pay.’
Fellow shareholder Legal and General Investment Management was also reportedly looking to dump Berman and Wright.
Pendragon has declined to comment on the matter.
Last year’s pay deal was voted through by a narrow margin of 41 per cent.
Hedin Group is a Swedish privately owned investment company that focuses on businesses that are mainly connected to the vehicle industry. It has a turnover of some 3.5bn euros (circa £3bn) and 3,600 employees.