TORONTO – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. has scheduled an annual and special meeting of Shareholders on April 28, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario. In addition to the regular agenda of the annual meeting, shareholders will be asked to vote on five non-binding advisory resolutions put forward by West Face Capital.
West Face Capital, a Toronto-based hedge fund owning approximately 11.4% of the company's shares outstanding, has requisitioned a shareholders' meeting to vote on these resolutions. The board will be holding the vote on the West Face Capital resolutions at the annual meeting rather than at a separate meeting to enable shareholders to properly consider the non-binding advisory resolutions in the context of the board's ongoing renewal process and the election of directors.
Maple Leaf's Board of Directors recently established a Shareholder Relations Committee to lead the board's renewal process and respond to the West Face Capital resolutions. The committee is comprised of James Hankinson (Chair), Geoff Beattie, John Bragg, Claude Lamoureux and Jeffrey Gandz, each of whom is an independent director.
"Maple Leaf Foods is committed to strong corporate governance," Hankinson said. "Our board includes nine highly qualified, respected and independent directors including three who have joined the board in the past few years. Recent changes in the composition of our board and in our shareholder base require changes to the board. The Shareholder Relations Committee is actively seeking input on the board renewal process from Maple Leaf shareholders and we expect to provide a substantive update on our progress prior to the annual and special meeting. This will enable shareholders to make an informed vote on the West Face Capital resolutions."
Maple Leaf Foods intends to mail a management proxy circular to shareholders well in advance of the meeting.