Leadership exodus at Godfreys as takeover progresses

Godfreys-super-store copyA changing of the guard has occurred within the board of struggling vacuum cleaner Godfreys as 99-year-old co-founder John Johnston’s plan to take over the business progresses.

Last night four Godfreys board members -Brendan Fleiter, Penny Burke, Kathy Gramp and Sue Morphet – resigned in a leadership exodus, while Grant Hancock, director of Johnston’s vehicle Arcade Finance, was appointed to the board as a director.

Godfreys chief financial officer Andrew Ford also “concluded his employment” last night, after just under 18 months at the business.

Arcade had a controlling interest in Godfreys on Wednesday morning, which officially made its 33.5 cent per share takeover offer unconditional.

Johnston hopes to take the struggling retail business private once completing the take-over, having upped the bid from 32 cents per share last week in a bid to hurry along the process.

As of Wednesday morning, Arcade had built up a 66.2 per cent stake in Godfreys and is expected to complete its takeover in the coming weeks.

Godfreys board gave its support to the bid earlier this month after last ditch efforts to begin turning around the business under new chief executive Jason Gowie had the opposite effect, driving sales down 27 per cent in two weeks.

An independent report commissioned into the takeover was also supportive and major shareholders NGE Capital and Kentgrove capital have not blocked the bid.

Arcade will pay just over $10 million for the business on the expectation it can right the ship, although Godfreys faces several serious challenges, including mounting competition from the likes of Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi.

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