The Guardian reports that Sports Direct International (SDI) and some of its shareholders are struggling to agree on a suitable independent party to conduct a review of the British sports retailing and wholesaling group. Under scrutiny over issues relating to working conditions and corporate governance, SDI conducted a preliminary review that was more critical than expected – conducted by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC), a law firm that previously worked with SDI. Two weeks after a turbulent annual general shareholders meeting, on September 7, SDI agreed to have a full review conducted by an independent party. The majority of the group's shares is owned by its founder, Mike Ashley, who was appointed chief executive after the departure of Dave Forsey in late September. However, at the general assembly, a majority of independent shareholders voted against the re-election of the group's chairman, Keith Hellawell. The rules dictate that a second vote should take place by early January, which puts some pressure on SDI to agree with big shareholders on a suitable party to conduct the review. As an unnamed investor points out in The Guardian, that is quite a tall order: Not only should the person be acceptable to the board and investors, but he or she should be prepared to take on a high-profile assignment that is likely to be highly publicized.

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