The Restaurant Group has rejected a request from Oasis Management for a board seat, after the shareholder publicly called for the owner of Britain's Wagamama restaurant chain to take immediate steps to restore market confidence.
The company is recovering from the impact of the pandemic and dealing with rising energy costs. Its shares have lost about two-thirds of their value in 2022 and are down more than 90% from an all-time high in March 2015.
Oasis, which manages private funds that own 6.5% of the company, had earlier on Thursday 16 February called for TRG to explore all options for a management change in the near term.
The London-listed company said Oasis had requested a board seat at a meeting in December last year and had asked for a strategic review to be conducted by an "independent bank".
Noting Oasis' request for a review of "all options for
meaningful governance change", TRG said it had already started a review of its strategic options and this step should not be disrupted by the hedge fund's suggestion of an additional process.
"The Board therefore decided it would not be in the interest of our other shareholders to grant Oasis a Board seat," TRG said.
TRG said it welcomed constructive dialogue with shareholders and would continue to engage with Oasis along with its entire shareholder base with the common goal of delivering shareholder value.
Oasis said the underperformance of TRG's shares began even before COVID-19 due to "group-level decision-making" and "failure of oversightby a board that has lost focus on the long-term creation."
The hedge fund said it had approached TRG's board with its suggestions but had been rejected, forcing it to make the discussion public.
Oasis did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for a comment on TRG's refusal to grant it a board seat.