TORONTO, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ - The Maple Leaf Foods (MFI: TSX) Board of Directors today announced that a Shareholder Relations Committee, formed on November 5th, is undertaking initiatives to support board renewal. The creation of the Committee formalizes a process which has been underway for some time within the Corporate Governance Committee to consider and recommend changes to the board as a result of the resignation of representatives by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan ("Teachers')from the board and the subsequent sale of their shares in the Company.
The Shareholder Relations Committee is comprised of James Hankinson, Claude Lamoureux, Geoffrey Beattie, John Bragg and Jeffrey Gandz, who are all independent directors. An important part of their mandate is to make recommendations to the Corporate Governance Committee that advance the board's commitment to renewal. To support this, Committee members will be meeting with large shareholders to seek their views on governance. The Committee is also in the process of engaging a search firm to identify independent director candidates to stand for nomination to the Company's board.
"We have a strong and engaged board, which has an ongoing commitment to renewal," said James Hankinson, Chair of the Shareholder Relations Committee. "Following the sale by Teachers' of their remaining shares in Maple Leaf Foods, the investor profile of the Company has broadened considerably. We are looking forward to engaging with our shareholders, and making changes that further strengthen our ability to provide oversight to ensure this company maximizes sustainable return to shareholders."
The Shareholder Relations Committee will also manage matters relating to the response to a requisition for a special meeting by a fund managed by West Face Capital Inc. one of the Company's shareholders. The Board will announce the date of the special meeting in response to that requisition on or before December 24, 2010.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 22,500 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia. The Company had sales of $5.2 billion in 2009.
SOURCE Maple Leaf Foods Inc.