Battle lost by Purplebricks investor to replace chairman

Activist investor Lecram, has lost its battle to replace Purplebricks chairman Paul Pinder, with former Rightmove and Countrywide founder Harry Hill.

71% of shareholders voted to keep Pindar in place, but nearly 29% voted for his removal.

Nearly 42% of shareholders voted to appoint Hill as a director, however 58% voted against this.

Lecram, which is the investment vehicle of Adam Smith, has been a longstanding critic of Pindar and the Purplebricks leadership. Smith called for a general meeting after Lecram’s stake in Purplebricks went above 5%.

Following this morning’s meeting, Purplebricks issued the following statement: “The directors acknowledge that whilst both votes were rejected, there was a significant proportion of shareholders that voted in their favour.

“The directors will continue to engage with shareholders to ensure there is full alignment on the strategy, objectives and most importantly its delivery and, as required under the QCA Corporate Governance Code, will explain any different action it will take as a result of the vote at its full year results.”

Helena Marston, CEO of Purplebricks said: “I want to reassure all shareholders that we understand their concerns. Our past performance has not been good enough. But we have a new team, with an agreed plan that is being delivered at pace.

“The operational changes implemented over the last four months will be clear for all to see at our final results, in terms of a substantially improved cash and profit performance.  We take nothing for granted and we are fully committed to driving improved performance, higher standards and value for all stakeholders.

“The housing market will be what it will be in 2023 but we have a value driven customer proposition, right sized our cost base by £17m, and laid the foundations for a more balanced business with the recent launch of new revenue streams and a plan to grow our lettings business. There is a big opportunity for Purplebricks and we want the opportunity to deliver it.”

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