Sigma Healthcare chairman to step down after shareholder protest

Sigma Healthcare chairman to step down after remuneration protest
Sigma Healthcare chairman to step down after remuneration protest

Sigma Healthcare chairman, Brian Jamieson intends to step down within 12 months, following a shareholder protest at Sigma’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Shareholders delivered an 18 per cent vote against the remuneration report during the meeting, while also opting to re-elect Jamieson, as well as David Manuel, as directors.

The vote signalled shareholders’ frustration over Sigma’s decision to reject a takeover offer by rival healthcare business Australian Pharmaceutical Industries, as well as a protest against the remuneration report itself, which included bonuses for board members.

Sigma, which owns and operates franchise pharmacy chains Amcal, Chemist King, Discount Drug Stores, Guardian Pharmacy and PharmaSave has seen its share price fall from 80 cents per share in June 2018 to 53 cents per share.

According to the Australian Financial Review, other company directors support Sigma Healthcare chairman Jamieson’s decision.

“This has been a defining year for Sigma,” Jamieson told shareholders at the business’s AGM.

Over the course of the year, Sigma walked away from a supply contract with Chemist Warehouse Group, causing a major fall in the business’s share price which hasn’t been recovered.

Sigma also walked away from the proposed merger with API, which Jamieson told shareholders was “somewhat opportunistic. The Sigma Healthcare chairman said the brand was at its most vulnerable” after dropping the Chemist Warehouse Group supply contract.

“To agree to proceed may have been the easy decision, but our detailed analysis supported our view that it was not the right decision for mid to long-term shareholder value,” Jamieson said.

This article first appeared on Inside Retail, a sibling publication to inside Franchise Business.