Institutional investors may be preparing to call for a change in listing rules prompted by disappointment in the way Sports Direct has handled corporate governance, according to The Times.
The paper reports that investors may ask for a reform in the qualification for a listing from 25% of freely traded shares to 50%. The change would bring a halt to companies being controlled by a single large shareholder, such as Sports Direct chief executive Mike Ashley.
Ashley has resisted the appointment of an independent chairman to lead a review of governance at the company.
Investors wanted the current incumbent Keith Hellawell to step down, but were thwarted at the most recent AGM by Ashley’s vote.
Legal advisory firm RPC is to carry out the review of governance, even though the firm is not regarded as independent by investors.
One investor is described by the paper as “seething” about the conduct of governance at the company.
Investors are reported to also have under consideration a proposal that would only see independent shareholders vote on the re-election of company chairmen.