Theme park operator Ardent Leisure has brokered a peace with its largest shareholder Ariadne with two new board appointments.
Ariadne has been running a campaign since June accusing Ardent Leisure of having “lost its way” with concerns about the way the company has been managed recently, reports ABC News.
Ariadne has built up a 10.9% in Ardent. The board of directors, this weekend, appointed two Ariadne nominees heading off a vote at an extraordinary meeting of shareholders. The nominees were corporate raider Dr Gary Weiss and US-based executive Brad Richmond.
George Venardos, the current chair of Ardent, had originally urged shareholders to vote against the new directors at a shareholder meeting. However, at the weekend Ardent announced that both parties were in agreement that the most important outcome is the ability of the board to have absolute focus on the execution of its strategy.
Venardos said: “We are confident that Dr Weiss and Mr Richmond can bring assistance and additional insight to the Board. We are pleased that Ardent can now focus on executing its stated strategy to drive performance.”
Weiss said: “I look forward to working collaboratively with the board to deliver value for the benefit of all Ardent security holders.”
Ardent Leisure is one of Australia’s most successful leisure and entertainment groups. They are the owners and operators of leisure attractions including Dreamworld, WhiteWater World & SkyPoint theme parks and attractions. They also own and operate AMF and Kingpin Bowling, as well as Main Event.
Ardent posted a net loss after tax of $62.6 million in 2017. The company was impacted by the Dreamworld ride tragedy.