Luke Johnson is under increasing pressure to step down from Patisserie Holdings’ audit committee, ahead of a shareholder meeting tomorrow, The Times has reported.
Shareholders are expect to approve the £15.7m rescue share issue proposed earlier this month after the business was faced with the prospect of calling in the administrators due to the need for an immediate cash injection.
According to the newspaper, Johnson, who is executive chairman and a 37% shareholder in the company has been warned by proxy adviser Glass Lewis to step down from the committee, and that if he remains the committee will continue to recommend shareholders vote against his re-election as group chairman.
Glass View said in its pre-meeting report: ”In our view, shareholders are better off not having significant shareholders serve on the audit committee as we believe that the area of financial disclosure is critical to shareholders and that any potential conflict between a director’s own interests and those of shareholders should be strictly monitored for board members who oversee accounting and disclosure issues.”
Last week saw Chris Marsh resign as finance director at Patisserie Holdings, with immediate effect.
The board accepted his resignation, while reserving its position in respect to any potential claims it may have against him. Marsh was suspended from his role earlier this month, and was subsequently arrested before being released on bail, following the discovery of a £20m accounting ‘black hole’.