In light of news coverage in recent days of the upcoming retirement of the company's CEO and most recently an inquiry from the stock exchange about the matter, the board of Festi hf. would like to communicate the following:
The Board of Directors of Festi hf. began a conversation with the CEO about his retirement on Thursday, June 2, 2022. In those circumstances, the CEO requested to be allowed to resign instead of being laid off, with the interests of himself and the company in mind. That was agreed and an agreement was reached on the same day between the company and the CEO on his retirement, as announced on the stock exchange that day.
The board was under the impression that that was the end of the matter and that there was agreement as to the procedure. There is no dispute that the board took the lead in the resignation and that the matter was resolved by agreement with the CEO as a result, as one of the main tasks of the board. Conversation with shareholders during such a process, as appears to be called for, is directly contrary to the rules of the stock exchange.
The board stands by its decision and bases it on the assessment that the company is now at a crossroads after many years of development and formation. This turning point, at the same time as competition is increasing in all areas of the company's operations and different projects, calls for a new approach and new hands to do the work. Shareholders may, of course, have a different opinion on this matter and present that opinion to the Board of Directors through appropriate communication channels. However, it is difficult to take that conversation in detail at a shareholders' meeting, where there are present, in addition to shareholders, the media and representatives of competitors.
The connection between this case and the case of the former chairman of the board, the run-up to his resignation, and other speculations, however, have no basis in reality and are completely rejected.
At the same time, the board realizes, like the competition authorities, that the ownership of listed companies in Iceland, where pension funds often jointly hold the majority of shares in competitors, can be cumbersome and demanding. Pension funds must ensure effective competition from competitors in which they have a stake. It must also be borne in mind that Festi hf. is a party to a settlement with a competition authority that must be respected in all respects.
It is a strong wish and the only guiding light of the board that peace be established for the company's operations, its employees and management, for the benefit of all shareholders. The company has a strong management and powerful staff all over the country, which is ready for the future.