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Friday 01 April, 2016

Slater Investments

EGM Statement

RNS Number : 7965T
Slater Investments Ltd
01 April 2016

On 31st March 2016 Slater Investments Limited and Steve Rawlings issued a statement to Lakehouse shareholders commenting on the proposed Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on 19th April 2016.


Mark Slater of Slater Investments commented "We have requisitioned this General Meeting to address the serious governance deficit on Lakehouse's Board with a view to restoring shareholder value through the proposed appointment of the new Non- Executive Directors. The Board has attacked the proposed candidates in its circular to shareholders despite making very different noises in private and has argued that if we are successful the newly configured Board will not be compliant with the UK Corporate Governance Code. The proposed candidates have committed to addressing the balance between Executive and Non-Executive directors in due course. However, they will initially focus on far more important issues. Corporate governance is not just about box-ticking."


Steve Rawlings commented "I founded Lakehouse in 1988 and have become deeply concerned by recent events as my family has a substantial investment in the Company. The business has great potential and I hope to be able, along with Ric Piper and Robert Legget, to help get Lakehouse back on track and then to fulfil its considerable potential."


Shareholders are urged to vote in favour of the resolution:

Thursday, 31 March 2016 


Dear Lakehouse Shareholder,


You received a notice of seven ordinary resolutions to be considered, and if thought fit, passed at the forthcoming requisitioned General Meeting of Lakehouse plc ("Lakehouse" or "the Company") at the offices of Eversheds at 1 Wood Street, London EC2V 7WS on 19th April 2016 at 2.30pm.


We have called a General Meeting to address the serious governance deficit on the Board by proposing the appointment of individuals with the skills necessary to assist the executives in restoring shareholder value.


We ask you to support our resolutions to remove three Non-Executive Directors and replace them with three very capable candidates - Steve Rawlings, Robert Legget and Ric Piper.


Please vote in favour of all resolutions.


Why are we taking action now?


Lakehouse's history as a public company is short and disappointing. Lakehouse listed on 23rd March 2015 at a price of 89p per ordinary share. On 10th December 2015, Stuart Black, at the time the Company's Executive Chairman, reported that "the Board remains confident for the current financial year." Only eight weeks later, on 1st February 2016, the same Board issued a major profit warning. The share price fell 58% from 84p to 35p. Since we requisitioned this General Meeting the shares have rallied a little. We do not believe that the Board has a firm grip on the Company and its prospects.


We believe that our three candidates for the Board will bring much needed perspective, experience and energy to the Company and enable it to realise its potential. We believe the proposed candidates will be able to identify quickly action that is needed and to develop, with the executives, a strategy to restore shareholder value.


The Board Response to our action


The Board's response to our calling a meeting of the shareholders was received badly by the stockmarket. Crucially, the Board did not address its own disastrous stewardship of Lakehouse and failed to offer any positive reasons why it deserves your support. Instead, the Board questioned the suitability of the individuals we proposed. Privately, however, the Board thought differently and decided two of them were suitable as Non-Executive Directors in the event we abandoned the Requisition.


The new Non-Executive Directors


Steve Rawlings has demonstrated a lifetime of successful entrepreneurship and accomplishment.  In 1988 he founded Lakehouse leaving the Board in 2015 following a successful flotation on the London Stock Exchange with a turnover of over £300M. He is also the founder and lifetime president of Building Lives Foundation - a charitable trust delivering training and jobs in the construction industry to hundreds of unemployed Londoners.  His achievements have been recognised by numerous awards, including Building Contractor of the Year (twice), two Queen's Awards and inclusion in the Sunday Times top 100 best companies to work for. Steve remains the largest shareholder in Lakehouse and has spent most of his working life developing its business. He is, therefore, both highly motivated and very well qualified to help restore value.


Robert Legget co-founded Progressive Value Management Limited in 2000 and is Managing Director. His firm specialises in creating value and liquidity for institutional investors from illiquid holdings in underperforming companies. In this role he has had significant engagement with public company boards. He was a director of Quayle Munro Holdings plc and Foreign & Colonial Private Equity Trust plc. We believe his experience in turning around underperforming companies will be of considerable value to the Company.


Ric Piper qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1977. His current directorships include being Senior Independent Director at Matchtech (since 2006) and Waterman (since 2013).  He has held senior finance roles in ICI, Citicorp and Logica, becoming Finance Director of Logica (UK). He was Group Finance Director of WS Atkins from 1993 to 2002. He has been involved at Board level and has advised on the growth and development of Main Market, AIM and privately owned companies. Ric is a partner at Restoration Partners and a member of the Financial Reporting Review Panel. His broad-based experience as a non-executive director and of growing and developing companies will, we believe, be invaluable to Lakehouse.


What will the new Non-Executive Directors do?


If the individuals we have nominated are elected to the Board, we believe that they will focus initially on the critical questions of what has gone wrong at Lakehouse and how best to get the Company back on track. This is the best way to restore shareholder value.


They have also committed to addressing, in due course, the ratio of executive and Non-Executive Directors to ensure compliance with best practice and the UK Corporate Governance Code.

What action should shareholders take?


We urge you to vote in favour of all seven resolutions to be proposed at the General Meeting as we intend to do in respect of 33,968,128 Ordinary Shares of 10 pence each held by us (21.56 % of the issued share capital).


We believe that the approval of these resolutions will greatly enhance the chances of improving the value of Lakehouse for the benefit of all shareholders.


Yours faithfully,


Steve Rawlings of Building Lives Training Academy, The Gateway Centre, 66 Lancaster Street, London SE1 0RZ                                                                 


Slater Investments Limited of Nicholas House, 3 Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R 0EU



For comments please contact Steve Rawlings on 07860 435 999 or Lisa Letham from Slater Investments Limited on 020 7220 9460.


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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