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HBC shareholders challenge $29.4M CEO pay amid privatization deal

Helena Foulkes, chief executive officer of Hudson's Bay Co. speaks during the annual general meeting at The Exchange Tower in Toronto on June 12, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin.

TORONTO — Roughly one-quarter of Hudson’s Bay Co. shareholders voted against a $29.4-million total compensation package for the struggling retailer’s top executive at an unusually secretive annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Nearly 26.5 per cent of shareholders voted against the retailer’s approach to executive compensation, which it says in documents is designed to incentivize, retain and attract top executives.

CEO Helena Foulkes’s pay package includes a roughly $1.6-million base salary and about $19.6 million in share-based awards and other compensation.

The non-binding resolution comes amid a proposal by a group of shareholders that includes executive chairman Richard Baker to take the company private.

The group’s offer earlier this month of $9.45 per share in cash to other investors was panned by activist investor Land and Buildings Investment Management, which called it “woefully inadequate.”

HBC barred media from its annual general meeting Wednesday and did not stream the proceedings via webcast, moves that signalled a departure from previous years, according to archived webcasts on its website.

 

Companies in this story: (TSX:HBC)

Will be updated, The Canadian Press