DavidsTea directors fight back against retail co founder’s slate of nominees

MONTREAL _ The board of DavidsTea is fighting back against a co-founder’s attempt to replace them with a dissident slate of nominees.

In a statement today, the Montreal-based company says Herschel Segal is trying to gain control of the board without paying a premium by pushing the election of seven director nominees at its annual meeting June 14.

Segal controls 46 per cent of DavidsTea through Rainy Day Investments Ltd.

He was on the board until resigning March 5.

The current board says Segal is the “the architect” of many of DavidsTea’s current challenges and labelled his statements that his control would bring a new, objective vision for the company as “disingenuous.”

It says it is open to continued discussions with all shareholders, including Segal, to avoid a public proxy contest.

Three sizable shareholders _ Porchlight Equity Management LLC, TDM Asset Management PTY Ltd. and Edgepoint Wealth Management Inc. _ that together own 36.5 per cent of DavidsTea have expressed concern over the proposed director nominees and RDI announcements.

DavidsTea has been publicly traded since June 2015, when it listed on the Nasdaq stock market as part of an expansion plan. It has 240 tea shops across Canada and the United States.

The company announced in December 2017 that its board was considering strategic alternatives such as a potential financing, refinancing or restructuring.