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Woolworths encourages shareholders to back Endeavour Group plans

Woolworths is encouraging shareholders to vote in favour of the first stage of its plans to spin-off its liquor and hospitality businesses as Endeavour Group.

On Monday the retailer revealed its three-part plan to create and separate Endeavour Group from the business.

The first stage, dubbed the “Restructure” involves an internal reorganisation through which Woolworths drinks business and its 75 per cent stake in ALH will be transferred into a distinct legal entity within the Group.

Following the Restructure, the ALH merger will be completed, and Endeavour Group will be 85.4 per cent owned by Woolworths, with the remaining 14.6 per cent owned by Bruce Mathieson Group.

Then it is intended to separate Endeavour Group from Woolworths Group via a demerger or “other value accretive alternative”.

Shareholders will be asked to vote on the first stage at an extraordinary general meeting on December 16. “In this new era of retail, the Restructure represents another step in the transformation of Woolworths Group,” Woolworths Group chairman Gordon Cairns said in a statement to the ASX on Monday.

“It will lead to the creation of Australia’s largest integrated retail drinks and hospitality business. On behalf of the Board, I encourage shareholders to read the Restructure Booklet and vote in favour of the Restructure Scheme at the EGM.”

The spotlight will be on Cairns and chief executive Brad Banducci at the company’s AGM, also on December 16, as they face questions over an underpayment scandal that came to light last week in which approximately 5700 staff were underpaid up to $300 million.

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