July 12, 2018 / 10:57 AM / 9 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK's Mears shoots down activist investor call to name Hogarth chairman

* Mears says resolution will not be put to shareholders

* SVM says company has “refused” to give markets a voice (Adds bullets, quote from Shareholder Value Management)

July 12 (Reuters) - Mears Group said a resolution to appoint Andy Hogarth as chairman would not be put to its shareholders at its general meeting, rejecting a call by a fund advised by Frankfurt-based activist investor Shareholder Value Management (SVM).

Mears said last week that Chairman Bob Holt would not stand for re-election at the company’s 2019 annual general meeting after SVM called for his removal, citing underperformance by the company.

SVM had proposed a non-binding vote to elect Hogarth, who is the former CEO of Staffline Group, as chairman.

“Board appointments are not a matter for a single shareholder ... the resolution will not be put to the company’s shareholders at the general meeting,” Mears said in a statement.

SVM is the social housing maintenance and repair services provider’s fourth largest shareholder with an 8.9 percent stake, according to Thomson Reuters data.

“The company has now refused to give the markets a voice showing, once again, a strong disregard for its shareholders,” Gianluca Ferrari, director at SVM, told Reuters.

“The board is hiding behind procedural formalities to escape an uncomfortable truth, which is that change needs to happen.” (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Maiya Keidan in London; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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