In a statement addressing Oasis Management Company’s intention to vote against the re-election of Darby at the next annual general meeting in July, the Premier Foods board said: “The Board strongly believes that Gavin Darby is the best person to lead the Company and to execute the Board's strategy. Having regard to the best interests of the Company's shareholders as a whole and its other stakeholders, the Board unanimously recommends that shareholders vote in favour of Gavin Darby's re-election as the Chief Executive Officer at the Company's AGM and will communicate further in due course.”
Oasis, a Hong Kong-based investment company, holds 8.5% of Premier Foods shares, making it the second largest shareholder in the business after Nissin Foods Holdings (19.6%). Oasis’ vote of no-confidence came at a press conference with Premier allegedly having no prior warning of the announcement.
In 2017, the company’s revenue rose 3.6% to £819.2m in the 52 weeks to 31 March, while pre-tax profit rocketed 74.2% to £20.9m, its best performance for five years.