MADRID, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Spanish supermarket group DIA’s shares slid 13 percent on Tuesday after it said that all the representatives of its biggest shareholder will quit its board of directors.
LetterOne, an investment vehicle owned by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, has a 29 percent stake in DIA, just below the threshold at which an investor must launch a takeover.
“As of this moment, LetterOne has no representatives on the board,” said a spokeswoman for DIA, which has lost market share since an economic recovery eroded its discount model appeal and seen its shares drop by 90 percent this year.
The departure of the remaining two LetterOne board directors at DIA follows that of interim chairman Stephan DuCharme, a LetterOne managing partner who stepped down in early December to focus on relaunching the retailer from within the fund.
LetterOne, which was not immediately available for comment in Spain, said when DuCharme stepped down that it would put forward another candidate to take his board seat.
In a bid to reverse its fortunes, DIA has signed a stand-by underwriting agreement which would allow it to sell shares through a capital increase, earmarked assets for possible sale, and named new senior staff. (Reporting by Andres Gonzalez, editing by Isla Binnie and Alexander Smith)