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Travis Perkins shareholders give Wickes spin-off the green light

Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter
·2-min read

Travis Perkins shareholders have given the thumbs-up to plans to spin off its Wickes retail business.

Investors in the London-listed business almost unanimously voted to approve the demerger at Travis Perkins’ annual general meeting on Tuesday.

It said that 197,759,462 of votes, representing 99.9% of shareholders, voted in favour.

However, the company suffered a bloody nose from shareholders who rebelled over its plans to offer extra share awards to Wickes bosses after the demerger is completed.

It said that 44.7% of shareholder votes were cast against the plan, which could see the chief executive officer receiving a long-term incentives worth 175% of their salary, with another long-term award for its finance chief.

The incentive deal was criticised by shareholder advisory body ISS, which initially called on investors to reject the move.

However, ISS later revised its recommendation after discussions with Wickes.

It is more than a year since the group first outlined plans to demerge Wickes, although the move was paused after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.

Last month, Travis Perkins said it was restarting the spin-off and that most of the preparations had already been completed before the move was halted.

Earlier this month, the builders’ merchants, which also owns the ToolStation brand, said sales ticked higher at the start of 2021 as it continued strong momentum from the second half of last year.

The business saw its like-for-like sales rise by 17.4% in the opening three months of the year, as it was propelled by 42% growth at Toolstation.

Total sales growth for the business was 6.8% compared to the same period last year.

Companies in the space have benefitted from increased house buying in recent months, after the Government paused stamp duty on some deals.