October 29 (Reuters) – Independent directors of Rogers Communications, which is embroiled in a board battle, criticized former chairman Edward Rogers for trying to “fit in as de facto CEO” and having compromised the planned 20 billion Canadian dollars (16.1 billion dollars) buyout of Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO), according to court documents released Friday.
Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO), Canada’s largest telecommunications company, is rocked by a family feud, sparking a bitter public battle for control of the board of directors, as the company carries out its largest acquisition of its story. The two rival factions will face off Monday in the BC Supreme Court, where the judge will decide on legitimate advice.
The feud was sparked after Edward Rogers, son of late founder Ted Rogers, attempted to remove CEO Joe Natale in late September, claiming Natale struggled to turn the company around despite more than four years as CEO .
This put Edward at odds with his mother and two sisters, who supported Natale, and resulted in his impeachment as president of Rogers. Edward Rogers retaliated by using his position as chairman of Rogers Control Trust, the family entity that owns the majority of the company’s voting shares, to form a new board of directors, which recognized him as chairman. Read more
In an affidavit submitted to the BC Supreme Court, Loretta Rogers said her decision to bring a motion for the removal of Edward Rogers followed media reports that he was attempting to remove five independent directors by written resolution. , contrary to Ted Rogers’ wishes.
The family dispute unfolding in public is a rare occurrence in Canada and has surprised analysts and investors, weighed on company shares and caught the attention of the regulator.
The matriarch of the controlling Rogers Communications family also said the independent directors sought to create safeguards to prevent Edwards’ interference from harming the business. She said Edward ignored all the checks and balances in trying to remove independent directors, and without a shareholder meeting and against the business judgment of a majority of the board.
A spokesperson for Edwards Rogers and Rogers Communications declined to comment.
($ 1 = 1.2392 Canadian dollars)
Writing by Denny Thomas Editing by Leslie Adler
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