Browning West claimed its proposed five-pillar plan would increase Gildan’s share price to more than $60 by the end of 2025 and more than $100 within the next five years.

The investor has outlined its slate of director candidates to implement the plan, including Gildan’s former CEO Glenn Chamandy who it proposes should take the role of new CEO as he is alleged to have “delivered a nearly 100-fold total return for Gildan shareholders during his tenure”.

Browning West added that he possesses an “unrivalled knowledge of the company’s low-cost, vertically integrated business model, and has the public support of shareholders representing over 35% of Gildan’s outstanding shares”.

It also stated that all of its eight director candidates have extensive financial, governance, and relevant global apparel industry experience.

Gildan’s annual meeting of shareholders is scheduled to take place on 28 May, however the investor was keen to point out that it is releasing its operating plan “now” so that shareholders can understand its strong “standalone” prospects under the slate’s leadership relative to an outcome that it claims would “likely undervalue the company under the current board of directors’ reactionary sale process”.

Browning West’s proposed five-pillar plan to enhance shareholder value

Browning West’s five-pillar operating plan is said to be underpinned by reducing operating costs, increasing market share, and enhancing capital allocation and capital structure.

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  • Pillar 1: Gain market share in fashion basics category by lowering unit costs
  • Pillar 2: Gain market share in high growth fleece category
  • Pillar 3: Gain market share in private label apparel by targeting new programme wins
  • Pillar 4: Enhance capital allocation and capital structure
  • Pillar 5: Introduce aspirational compensation plan tied to value creation.

Browning West’s plan follows Gildan’s board of directors reviewing a potential acquisition offer in March and contacting other potential bidders with a view to “maximising the value of any potential transaction.”

However, Browning West said at the time that Gildan’s current board of directors’ “reactionary” sale process “undervalues” the company.

Browning West believes its eight director candidates possess strong track records of value creation, expertise in successful succession planning, relevant industry and governance experience, as well as proven management and board service pedigrees in Canada and the US.

Browning West’s proposed director candidates

Alongside Glenn Chamandy as proposed CEO, the slate also includes:

  • Michael Kneeland, who is the non-executive chair and former CEO of United Rentals Inc. and potential chair of the new board
  • Mélanie Kau, chair of the Human Resources and Corporate Committee and former lead director at Alimentation Couche-Tard
  • Peter Lee, co-founder and partner of Browning West
  • Michener Chandlee, former chief risk officer for NIKE, former CFO of Fanatics Commerce, formerly Fanatics Inc. and current CFO of Whoop
  • Karen Stuckey, former senior vice president at Walmart
  • Ghislain Houle, EVP and CFO of Canadian National Railway Company
  • J.P. Towner, former CFO of Dollarama and current CFO of RONA.

Gildan had not responded to Just Style’s request for comment at the time of going to press.

Last week (25 March) Turtle Creek, which is another long-term shareholder said it wanted an “urgent” annual meeting after the board initiated a sales process in what it described as a “desperate attempt” to avoid being voted out by shareholders.

Background behind shareholders’ ongoing dispute with Gildan

Gildan’s former CEO Chamandy left in December 2023 and was replaced by Tyra, a move that Browning West described as “value destructive” at the time.

The company faced backlash from investors, including Browning West with requests to reinstate Chamandy, which was denied by Gildan.

Gildan defended its appointment of Tyra and said its confidence in the former CEO had been “eroded gradually” after Chamandy’s plans to pursue “highly dilutive multi-billion-dollar acquisitions,” which Gildan said would sift the company away from its core manufacturing expertise.

“The board’s decision to hire a new CEO is based on our joint responsibility to see that Gildan is well positioned for future success. The business has grown in scale and complexity and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead call for a new leader with new ideas and different skills,” Gildan said at the time.

In a separate statement published on 17 January, former CEO Chamandy was keen to defend himself and said: “It is with regret that I observe the board’s current focus on a strategy seemingly aimed at undermining my reputation and my record through insinuation and distortion of the truth.”

Browning West has remained critical of Gildan’s justification in naming Tyra as the company’s new CEO and described him previously as “an extremely poor leadership choice”.