Shareholders in Russian retailer Lenta have become embroiled in a spat over the appointment of the company’s new chief executive.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which owns 11%, has called for a board meeting to find out the reasons for the dismissal of former CEO Jan Dunning and the appointment of Sergey Yuschenko as his replacement.
In documents seen by just-food, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said it has learnt from public sources that “certain actions” were taken by the Svoboda Corporation, which is owned by August Meyer and holds the company’s largest stake of 40.01%, and resulted in the termination of Dunning and the appointment of Yushenko.
It said it is concerned “with the violations of the fundamental principle of corporate governance by the Minority Shareholder [Svoboda] and the directors nominated by the Minority Shareholder as exposed by the above actions.” It added that it was concerned that the actions of the Minority Shareholder are not in the best interest of the company.
Additionally, a source close to the situation refuted rumours that investor TPG is acting on behalf of Wal-Mart or that it has recently increased its stake in the company. “It is ridiculous to suggest TPG is working for Wal-Mart,” he said.
The board will be meeting on 20 August in London to discuss these matters.