Chairman of Endeavour Group Peter Hearl has hit back at claims by billionaire Bruce Mathieson Snr that the company is the victim of bad management.
Mathieson Snr took public aim at the performance of Endeavour Group this week and backed a campaign by former Myer Chairman Bill Wavish to join the board.
“We need people on that board who can turn the company around from just bad management,” Mathieson Snr told The Australian.
The Endeavour Group Chairman sent a letter to Mathieson Snr said it was “disappointing” he was not providing a “balanced or accurate view of the business”.
“On any reading of our business performance over the past four years, we have been the clear market leader in our categories and to suggest otherwise would demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of Endeavour Group’s results,” Hearl wrote.
“Endeavour Group‘s retail business [Dan Murphy’s and BWS] has grown sales by $1.5billion since fiscal 2019, nearly three times the growth of the nearest competitor. Over the same period EBIT growth outpaced sales growth, due to the success of our customer-led strategy.”
Mathieson Snr said earlier this week: “Endeavour is very, very poorly run under the guidance of [chairman] Peter Hearl and [CEO] Steve Donohue [above], and the figures prove it, don’t they? We are not going ahead, we are going backwards and in the industry hotels aren’t dropping off in value, and it has performed very poorly under this management.”
In response, Hearl said that Mathieson Snr’s comments only served to “misinform shareholders and have a negative impact on the business to the detriment of all shareholders.”
Hearl also reiterated why Wavish is not eligible at this time for election to the Endeavour board, stating that he could have chosen to engage earlier with the board to gain the necessary regulatory approvals.
Earlier this week Mathieson Snr accusing Hearl and the board of a “cynical” attempt to block the election of Wavish to the board to entrench an “insiders’ club” in the boardroom.
“The relevant terms of the Endeavour Group Limited constitution are unambiguous,” Hearl said.
“The requirement that the resolution be withdrawn should all necessary regulatory approvals not be received in time is not a tactic, as you suggest, but rather an action that complies with the requirements of the constitution.”
The Endeavour Group annual general meeting will be held on October 31.