Grand Parade Investments holds the US fast-food chain Burger King master franchise agreement for southern Africa. Picture: 123RF / FRANCIS DEAN
Grand Parade Investments holds the US fast-food chain Burger King master franchise agreement for southern Africa. Picture: 123RF / FRANCIS DEAN

Grand Parade’s directors — who face getting ousted in a boardroom coup by disgruntled fund managers at 6.30pm — issued a statement on Wednesday morning begging minority shareholders to protect them.

The shareholder meeting called by five disgruntled fund managers was originally scheduled for October 31, but was postponed after minority shareholders complained Grand Parade had not “furnished them with reasons by the proposers of the resolutions for their proposed removal, as required by recent case law”.

On November 28, the JSE had to bypass Grand Parade and issue a letter signed by institutional investors Denker Capital, Excelsia Capital, Kagiso Asset Management, Rozendal Partners, and Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management because Grand Parade’s directors had refused to issue their gripes via Sens as instructed.

“Shareholder activism must be welcomed, but change does not always achieve the desired results and there are many examples where it has spurned growth and led to a destruction in value,” Grand Parade said in its statement ahead of the vote.

“Management is concerned that the proposed reconstitution of the board will be negative for the company and the implementation of the current strategy of the company, which management is confident will continue to create value for shareholders.”

In the letter, the incumbent directors described Grand Parade as “a unique company with a distinctive background”.

A key gripe of the fund managers is that Grand Parade’s share price has fallen from over R7.50 in 2013 before its move into the food industry by acquiring the local rights to Burger King to under R2 before a recent rally which has seen it recover to R3.

But the institutions calling for the ousting of the incumbent directors raised concerns over related party deals.

“Related party transactions are not uncommon or illegal, provided that they are adequately disclosed and implemented in terms of the relevant and applicable legislation,” Wednesday morning’s statement said.

“All related party transactions mentioned by the proposers were adequately disclosed and implemented in terms of the relevant and applicable legislation.”

laingr@businesslive.co.za