Who’s Rex’s real master?
SURELY SOMETHING has to give at fashion retailer
REX TRUEFORM ? Last week saw another re-jigging of the board, with Murray & Roberts financial director Roger Rees appointed as an independent nonexecutive director to Rextru, as well as the pyramid holding company African & Overseas Enterprises.
It’s all well and good to appoint independent non-executive directors at this family-controlled business, but Rextru (and Af&Over) surely are overdue in aligning its board to reflect the economic interests in the companies.
Empowerment group Brimstone and private investor Hugh Roberts hold an economic interest of close to 70% in Rextru but neither party has board representation, with its N-share structure ensuring control stays with the Shub family.
It’s archaic, it’s unfair and it’s untenable. Brimstone, which has a track record of adding value to its investments, has politely bided its time at Rextru since buying out Old Mutual’s stake a few years ago. But perhaps it’s time Brimstone – hopefully joined by the enigmatic Mr Roberts – takes a tactful tilt at this artificial edifice.