Leading Proxy Advisor Agrees Change is Needed at Liquor Stores N.A.

  • ISS recommends shareholders vote FOR two PointNorth nominees
  • While two nominees are a start, the full team of PointNorth's six new independent nominees are required to bring about meaningful value creation for all shareholders
  • PointNorth reiterates continued support of large institutional shareholders including LOGiQ Institutional Partners and JC Clark Ltd.

TORONTO, June 8, 2017 /CNW/ - PointNorth Capital Inc., together with certain affiliates and associates (collectively, "PointNorth"), announces leading independent proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. ("ISS") has recommended that Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd. ("Liquor Stores" or the "Company") shareholders vote FOR two of PointNorth's nominees for election to the Board of Directors, recognizing the need for change at Liquor Stores. PointNorth acknowledges that changing only two directors is not enough to effect meaningful change from the current Board's status quo.

The two nominees ISS has recommended, Kenneth G. Barbet and Richard D. Perkins, have the experience and skill set necessary to turn the Company around by improving Liquor Stores' operations and making the changes necessary to increase shareholder value given that the "dissident's nominees…possess extensive executive experience in the alcohol beverage retail industry."

In its recommendation, ISS pointed out that the dissident has made a compelling case for change, highlighting:

  • The unsustainable growth of operating expenses;
  • The opportunity to align executive compensation; and
  • The need to accelerate the renovation pace of Canadian stores.

In coming to its conclusion, ISS also noted that:

  • "The management and board are blaming a faltering Alberta economy, which is LIQ's main market, for the company's weak performance […However] the oil price collapse does not seem to have resulted in a challenging economic climate for the company."
  • "Overall, it appears that the board might benefit from the dissident's perspectives and thoughts regarding the company's US operations, especially the cost reduction opportunities that might be available in the company's US unit."

PointNorth appreciates ISS' recognition that a catalyst for positive change is needed and the only way to achieve this is by electing the six new, independent directors being proposed by PointNorth. For shareholders, change from the status quo means that the recent turnaround in the Company's share price that started when PointNorth announced its ownership will continue. It is anticipated the new Board will maintain the existing dividend policy and review it regularly for opportunities to increase it.

It is time for a change. Shareholders can do better. Every vote will count no matter how many shares you own. 

Vote the BLUE proxy form or BLUE voting instruction form for the six new director nominees before 5:00 p.m. (Toronto time) on June 15, 2017. Even if you have voted the White proxy, it is not too late. A later-dated BLUE proxy will replace any previously voted White proxy.

If you have questions or need help voting, contact Kingsdale Advisors at 1-877-657-5857 or at contactus@kingsdaleadvisors.com.

About PointNorth Capital

PointNorth, together with its affiliates and associates, is a private equity investment firm formed in Ontario. PointNorth invests, as did its predecessor, in equity and debt situations where it is able to influence operational, financial and strategic direction.

PointNorth invests in companies that are experiencing financial or operational challenges, are in out-of-favour sectors or are otherwise in need of change to drive significant long-term value for stakeholders. PointNorth does not seek to appoint its founders and principals to the boards of directors of companies it invests in, but rather operates by identifying best-in-class independent candidates to nominate for board positions. This commitment to improvements benefits all shareholders, not just PointNorth.

PointNorth has developed the New Strategy for Liquor Stores with the input of third party alcohol retail industry experts. As at April 21, 2017, PointNorth beneficially owned or controlled or directed, directly or indirectly, an aggregate of 2,750,000 common shares, representing approximately 9.91% of the common shares in the capital of Liquor Stores.

About Institutional Shareholder Services
Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) is the world's leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment (RI) solutions for asset owners, asset managers, hedge funds, and asset service providers. ISS' solutions include: objective governance research and recommendations; RI data, analytics, and research; end-to-end proxy voting and distribution solutions; turnkey securities class-action claims management; and reliable global governance data and modeling tools. Institutional clients turn to ISS to apply their corporate governance views, identify environmental, social and governance risk, and manage their complete proxy voting needs on a global basis. ISS analysts have unique expertise and insight on the governance and RI landscape, local market voting practices and regulatory requirements, along with expertise in varied fields such as law, M&A, compensation, and analytics.

Forward-Looking Statements and Information

Certain statements contained in this press release, constitute forward-looking statements. The words "may", "would", "could", "will", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect" and similar expressions as they relate to Liquor Stores or PointNorth are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect PointNorth's current views and intentions with respect to future events as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to PointNorth, and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Although PointNorth considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on the information currently available to it, many factors could cause the actual results, performance, actions or achievements of Liquor Stores or others that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements to materially differ from those described herein should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize. Such factors include, but are not limited to, economic, business, competitive and regulatory factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement and are made as of the date of this press release. Except as expressly required by law, PointNorth does not intend, and disclaims any intention or obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Liquor Stores' registered office address is Suite 101, 17220 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, AB Canada T5S 1K6. A copy of this press release may be obtained on Liquor Stores' SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

SOURCE PointNorth Capital Inc.

For further information: Ian Robertson, Executive Vice President, Communication Strategy, Kingsdale Advisors, Direct: 416-867-2333, Cell: 647-621-2646, Email: irobertson@kingsdaleadvisors.com

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