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Ackerman family to follow their rights; forego majority shareholder voting control of Pick n Pay

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Pick n Pay confirmed today that Ackerman Investment Holdings (AIH) the controlling shareholder of Pick n Pay, had provided a firm written confirmation to vote in favour of and to follow their pro rata rights under the anticipated Pick n Pay Rights Offer, subject to its reasonable satisfaction with the terms and conditions of the Rights Offer.

At the same, AIH and its related and inter-related persons (the Ackerman family) agreed to forego majority shareholder voting control of Pick n Pay, with the exact mechanism still to be finalised, such that their voting rights will fall slightly below 50% post the planned Rights Offer.

AIH will also relinquish the right to nominate the Chairman, CEO and CFO immediately. The representation of the Ackerman family on the Board of Directors will be reduced to three members from the FY24 AGM, being Gareth Ackerman, Suzanne Ackerman and Jonathan Ackerman.

David Robins, with 30 years of service including 22 years on the Board, will retire from the Board at the FY24 AGM.

After 40 years of service including 14 years as Chairman, Gareth Ackerman will retire from his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors after the release of FY25 results and has stepped down from the Nominations and Treasury committees with immediate effect. The Board is in the process of identifying his successor as Non-Executive Chairman, who will be announced in due course.

Suzanne Ackerman will remain as Chairperson of the Social, Ethics and Transformation committee and will retire from the Nominations committee with immediate effect.

The Board has initiated a process for long-serving non-executive directors to rotate and retire in the ordinary course of board appointments over the next 12-18 months.

Gareth Ackerman said: “This is a strong vote of confidence by the Ackerman Family in the future of Pick n Pay. The changes in the control structure being announced today are intended to support the business in its transformation under the leadership of CEO Sean Summers and his management team.

“The Ackerman family has for some time been considering the changing operating environment and the need for renewal at Pick n Pay, including at board level. To quote a favourite expression of my father, ‘We need to listen to the whispers of tomorrow’. The difficulty the business has found itself in recently has proved an opportune moment to accelerate the renewal process.

“On a personal level, I have been wanting to retire as board Chair for some time. I will stay on as Chairman to support the management through this period of transition until the publication of our FY25 results, after which I feel it will be the right time to hand over to new blood, while I continue to serve on the board.

“This is a challenging but at the same time, very exciting time in our history. This is the right decision by the family and by me. We have full confidence in Sean and give him our every support.”

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