Toscafund wins ISS support in bid to overhaul Speedy Hire's board

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HEDGE fund Toscafund, led by Martin “the Rottweiler” Hughes, marshalled support from influential proxy voting group ISS to elect a new board member, forming part of a last-ditch effort to convince Speedy Hire shareholders to kick out chairman Jan Astrand 

The ding-dong between Tosca and Astrand has been rumbling on for weeks.

Tosca wants to appoint former Mouchel chairman David Shearer to the board.  

Today it highlighted comments from ISS that the move “would reinforce the board at a very challenging time for the company.”. ISS has stopped short of calling for Astrand to be ousted all together and believes both men should stay on the board. . 

Tosca added it was “surprised” Speedy did not feel a replacement chairman for the board necessary.

Shareholders are due to cast their votes on the two proposals, one to remove Astrand and one to elect Shearer, on Friday. 

Lining up behind Tosca is the company’s third-biggest shareholder Schroders, which owns nearly 10%. The company’s second biggest shareholder Artemis has so far not shown its hand publicly. The other funds in the top five, Fidelity and Majedie, are staying tight-lipped.

Speedy issued a string of denials to Tosca’s claims last week, claiming Shearer was not independent and that Astrand’s role as executive chairman was only temporary.

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September 5, 2016 |
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