Opponents of the management of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) have taken control of the supervisory board, with the election on Friday at its head of Léon Bressler, former boss of the shopping center giant who has been leading for several weeks a sling of shareholders with the entrepreneur Xavier Niel.
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For weeks, a consortium of minority shareholders led by Léon Bressler and Xavier Niel has been calling for a change in strategy, deeming that of the management of the company "disastrous".
On Tuesday, they won a first victory: URW's management failed to obtain the support of the shareholders, gathered in a general meeting, for its plan to increase the capital of 3.5 billion euros.
Léon Bressler and Xavier Niel, as well as their ally, the Spanish businesswoman Susana Gallardo, have also joined the supervisory board.
Net loss of 5.45 billion euros
New twist this Friday evening.
“The supervisory board appointed Mr. Léon Bressler as chairman with immediate effect.
He also becomes a member of the audit committee
URW announced in a press release.
Xavier Niel (Free) and Susana Gallardo are respectively appointed member of the compensation committee and member of the governance and nominations committee, the press release said.
Four directors have also left the supervisory board, however ex-chairman Colin Dyer remains a member of the board.
Weighed down by confinements and business closures in an attempt to curb the pandemic, URW suffered a net loss of 5.45 billion euros over the first nine months of 2020. Opponents particularly question the takeover in June 2019 from the Anglo-Saxon giant Westfield for more than 20 billion euros, which has indebted the group, and demand the sale of the centers acquired in the United States on this occasion.