Sherritt dissident shareholders name nominees
HALIFAX - A dissident shareholder group led by Clarke Inc. (TSX:CKI) has nominated three directors for the board of directors at mining company Sherritt International (TSX:S).
"Sherritt is led by a board and management with no vested interest in generating returns for shareholders," Clarke chief executive George Armoyan said in a statement Wednesday.
"The only way to create meaningful value at Sherritt is to bring true representatives of the shareholders onto the board who can take action for all shareholders."
Armoyan represents about five per cent of Sherritt's stock.
The nominees include Armoyan and David Wood, chief financial of the Municipal Group of Companies, a construction and mining infrastructure company.
The third Clarke nominee is Astor Group chief executive Ashwath Mehra, who is also the former chief executive of MRI Trading AG and senior partner for the nickel and cobalt businesses at Glencore International AG.
In addition to the new directors, Armoyan wants to amend Sherritt's bylaws to require unanimous board support for any major acquisitions.
Armoyan's firm has also taken aim at how both Sherritt directors and executives are paid, as well as some additional perks it says they receive.
For its part, Sherritt has been critical of the proposals and suggested that they would weaken the company's governance.
The company said Wednesday that Armoyan has not proposed any alternatives to Sherritt's current strategic plan.
Sherritt added the nominees proposed by Clarke are different from those earlier floated by Armoyan as possibilities.
"Sherritt has a strong and independent board with nine highly-qualified director nominees up for election, four of whom are new to Sherritt within the past four years," Sherritt chairman Hap Stephen said.
"This proxy contest continues to be about whether Sherritt's shareholders want an experienced and professional board that will ensure Sherritt pursues a disciplined strategy of focused execution while maintaining governance best practices, or the disruption and instability that have been Mr. Armoyan's hallmark."
Toronto-based Sherritt mines nickel and cobalt in Madagascar and Cuba. It's also Cuba's largest independent energy producer.
Until recently, it was known as a major producer of thermal coal in Western Canada, but announced in December it would sell that business for $946 million.