06:34:21 EDT Thu 25 Apr 2024
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Andrew Peller appoints five directors

2024-02-09 15:23 ET - News Release

Mr. John Peller reports


Andrew Peller Ltd. has appointed five new members to its board of directors: Brian J. Bidulka, Daniel J. Cicerchi, R. Bruce McDonald, Chris Tsiofas and W. James Westlake. Mr. McDonald, a senior executive with more than 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, including extensive expertise in the automotive sector, will serve as chair of the board. John Peller and A. Angus Peller will continue to serve as directors to ensure continuity for a transition period of 12 months.

"We are pleased to welcome five new directors to the board, who add tremendous depth and experience in governance, finance, capital markets, logistics and supply chain as we build on our strength as Canada's largest publicly traded wine producer," commented Mr. Peller, president and chief executive officer.

As previously announced, Mr. Peller will be retiring as president and chief executive officer of the company within the next year upon the appointment of his successor. The board has formed a chief executive officer selection committee, which, together with a leading executive search firm, will be responsible for identifying a suitable successor for the chief executive officer position.

For almost 30 years, Mr. Peller has led Andrew Peller as chief executive officer and has been the driving force behind the company's growth and success. The board is seeking to identify and attract a chief executive officer who will respect Andrew Peller's core values and will continue the rich traditions that have been ingrained in the company due to the contributions, efforts and commitment of the Peller family.

As part of Mr. Peller's retirement and transition, the company has agreed to pay $4.5-million in a retirement allowance in addition to his continuing salary as president and chief executive officer until a successor is appointed. In addition, the company has also entered into a consulting agreement with Mr. Peller that will take effect upon his retirement to ensure a smooth transition, which provides for a $2-million consulting fee for services provided, paid quarterly.

The company has entered into a transition agreement with Peller Family Enterprises Inc. and the Peller family, which includes provisions relating to the composition of the board for a 24-month period, as well as standstill and other provisions. The company has paid $3-million in legal and advisory fees incurred by the shareholders in connection with these agreements.

The members of the reconstituted board have reviewed and unanimously approved these arrangements.

Summary bios of new directors

Mr. Bidulka, CPA, CA, is a chartered accountant and business consultant with significant expertise in financial and business analytics. Mr. Bidulka has previously served as chief financial officer and other senior executive roles of several public companies, including Postmedia, George Weston Ltd., BlackBerry Ltd. and Molson Coors, as well as Porter Airlines. He is also currently a board member and treasurer of Canada Basketball.

Mr. Cicerchi is currently the general manager and vice-president of the transportation management solutions business unit of Descartes Systems Group Inc. Mr. Cicerchi is an entrepreneur who has founded, scaled and sold technologies businesses, including MacroPoint LLC, a logistics and supply chain visibility platform. During the course of his professional career, Mr. Cicerchi has developed considerable expertise in mergers and acquisitions and operational leadership.

Mr. McDonald, CPA, CA, is a senior executive with over 30 years of experience in the automotive manufacturing industry. Mr. McDonald has previously served as chair and chief executive officer of Adient PLC, a manufacturer of automotive parts, and vice-chairman and chief financial officer of Johnson Controls Inc, and he is currently a director, chair of the audit committee and member of the compensation committee for Dana Inc. He has also served his community as chair of Columbia St. Mary's Hospital, director of United Way of Greater Milwaukee and trustee of Milwaukee Art Museum.

Mr. Tsiofas, CPA, CA, is the president of MTN Chartered Professional Accountant Professional Corp., a public accountancy firm. Mr. Tsiofas currently serves as director, chair of the audit committee and member of the compensation committee of Poet Technologies Inc. He also currently serves as a trustee for various private trusts, assisting in the oversight of significant passive and active assets. Mr. Tsiofas has held roles as a principal in many private entrepreneurial ventures, including Brasserie Aix and The Yorkville Club. Mr. Tsiofas is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation.

Mr. Westlake is a retired senior financial services executive from Royal Bank of Canada. Mr. Westlake held several senior executive roles at RBC, including group head of Canadian retail, commercial banking and wealth management businesses and group head of international banking and insurance. Mr. Westlake has also served as chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Canadian Bankers Association. He has served in his community as director of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, chairman of Ottawa Ronald McDonald House and chair of the Paralympic Foundation of Canada. Mr. Westlake has been awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee medals for his community service.

About Andrew Peller Ltd.

Andrew Peller is one of Canada's leading producers and marketers of quality wines and craft beverage alcohol products. The company's award-winning premium and ultrapremium Vintners' Quality Alliance brands include Peller Estates, Trius, Thirty Bench, Wayne Gretzky, Sandhill, Red Rooster, Black Hills Estate Winery, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, Gray Monk Estate Winery, Raven Conspiracy and Conviction.

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