This could also potentially bring an end to a public quarrel that has undermined investor confidence.
(WATCH VIDEO: PPC to hold shareholder meeting next month)
Three shareholders with a combined 10 per cent of the company – Foord Asset Management, Visio Capital Management and Nedbank Private Wealth – have submitted a resolution to replace the directors with their own candidates, including the former CEO.
The power struggle erupted in September when Ketso Gordhan resigned as CEO after the board blocked him from firing his chief financial officer.
Foord Asset Management, which owns 8.6 per cent of [DATA PPC:PPC], had previously criticised PPC’s directors over their inability to “resolve the leadership impasse” since Gordhan’s departure.
But the directors have an important backer in South Africa’s 126 billion dollar state pension fund, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which owns 12 per cent of the company and said on Thursday that it planned to vote in favour of the board.
The three shareholders have put forward a list of ten candidates to serve on a reconstituted board, including Gordhan and Bobby Godsell, the retired former chief executive of AngloGold Ashanti and one of the best-known figures in corporate South Africa.
Peter Nelson, who served as PPC’s financial director between 2000 and 2003, is also on the slate. He later served as chief financial officer of fixed-line operator Telkom SA.