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Belvédère shareholders in bid to oust chairman

Shareholders at French drinks group Belvédère have called for the resignation of the chairman of the group’s board along with three other independent board members.

Two of Belvédère’s shareholding companies have united in their calls for the resignation of the group’s chairman and three independent board members

Chairman Benoît Hérault, Christine Mondollot, Constance Benqué, Benoît Ghiot face losing their positions when a shareholder vote takes place on 30 June.

Groupe Diana Holding, a 17.31% shareholder in Belvédère, has joined forces with DF Holding, a Castle group company, a 5.66% shareholder, to oust the board members and replace them with three new independents and a member affiliated with one of the shareholding firms.

They want to see DF Holding representative Laurence Dequatre, Guillaume De Belair, Nicolas Gailly and Pierre Beuchet take up the roles.

The current incumbents have said that they would be willing to resign if shareholders vote to remove them.

“The independent Board members indicated above feel that, having been appointed by the Shareholders’ Meeting, it is up to the latter to define the composition of the Company’s management bodies and the control of its governance, and not up to certain Board members,” a statement from the group reads.

However, Belvédère is urging shareholders to reinstate the board members with a new vote at the AGM later this month. Following this, the group will ask shareholders to approve the appointment of DF Holding’s Guillaume De Belair.

Benoît Hérault replaced Krzysztof Trylinski as chairman of the group in August last year, after Trylinski resigned for “personal reasons”.

Belvédère has been trying to pull back falling sales in recent months with an “ambitious” new strategic plan.

As part of the company overhaul, 500 people have been cut from Belvédère’s global workforce, while it is endeavouring to offload some of its “loss making” assets.

Last month, the group proposed changing its name to Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits as the “final step” in its “normalisation plan”.

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