Times Colonist

Viterra slammed for ‘ vague plans’

- KIM GUTTORMSON

CALGARY — Disagreeme­nts between Viterra and its largest shareholde­r that have been kept behind closed doors for the past 18 months went public Tuesday, as AIMCO criticized the abilities of the company’s board of directors.

“Alberta Investment Management Corp. will not accept Viterra’s vague plans for board renewal, further platitudes about seeking shareholde­r input or closed-door processes on important government issues,” AIMCO CEO Leo de Bever said in a statement. “AIMCO does not believe the current Viterra directors are prepared to enact meaningful change for the benefit of all stakeholde­rs.

“Among these concerns, AIMCO does not believe the current Viterra board has the required skills or expertise to meet the company’s leadership needs as a growing internatio­nal agribusine­ss.”

AIMCO, which manages about $70 billion in public sector pensions and other Alberta government accounts such as the Heritage Savings Trust Fund and the Sustainabi­lity Fund, owns 17 per cent of Viterra’s stock.

“AIMCO’S announceme­nt is under considerat­ion by Viterra’s nominating and corporate gover- nance committee,” Viterra replied in a statement.

Last week the company said two directors were stepping down from the board and that it was seeking replacemen­ts using two internatio­nally recognized search firms in “setting a slate of proposed nominees for its board of directors that reflects Viterra’s commitment to ensure that the evolving needs of the company are addressed.”

Its nominating and corporate governance committee would continue to seek input from shareholde­rs, the news release said, announcing a March 8 date for the company’s annual general meeting.

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