Pie Face bid to oust co-founder Wayne Homschek criticised, Madeleine Heffernan

There has been anger among franchisees, suppliers and some investors about the company's collapse in November, which led to store closures, job losses and lawsuits. It's understood Mr Homschek refused a request from the board to resign at Monday's board meeting. Mr Homschek was contacted for comment.

The Sydney Morning Herald
January 15, 2015

Pie Face bid to oust co-founder Wayne Homschek criticised
Madeleine Heffernan

Pieface9.jpg

Former Wall Street banker Wayne Homschek. Photo: Peter Braig

A bid to oust Pie Face co-founder Wayne Homschek from the fast-food company's board has been criticised by an investor and former executive.

Pie Face has called an extraordinary general meeting for February 12 to decide whether to remove Mr Homschek as a director. The push comes as the company – which recently exited administration – seeks to raise up to $10 million from local and offshore investors.

Under a recent deal that kept Pie Face afloat, unsecured creditors such as landlords and suppliers can expect to wait years to receive between 14¢ and 19¢ in the dollar, while secured creditor Macquarie is repaid. TCA Global Fund Management took over the Macquarie loan, and Pie Face is seeking fresh money "as soon as possible" to retire that loan and provide working capital.

The deal allowed Pie Face's remaining debt of more than $20 million to be paid over time. The chain owes money to the Australian Taxation Office and employees.

There has been anger among franchisees, suppliers and some investors about the company's collapse in November, which led to store closures, job losses and lawsuits.

It's understood Mr Homschek refused a request from the board to resign at Monday's board meeting. Mr Homschek was contacted for comment.

But Matthew Howison, a self-described "long-standing" Pie Face shareholder, has written in support of Mr Homschek.

"I have heard it is thought for some reason he is a negative to a capital raise. I think this view is shockingly misguided. It would be far more negative to the market to not have him on the board and essentially cut adrift from the company he founded," he wrote.

"Please reconsider whether removing Wayne as a director is a sensible move and not one that has been taken in the heat of the moment when there is a lot of anger and pain caused by the closures and bad press in Australia."

Former Pie Face executive Ben Macpherson also wrote in support of Mr Homschek. "The guy you are throwing off the board has more than a decade of experience in this market and knows the business intimately. Current management will take years acquiring the IP [intellectual property] which Wayne now has."

Pie Face's local investors, including retail entrepreneur Brett Blundy, Fat Prophets founder Angus Geddes and Rothschild Australia chairman Trevor Rowe, had poured more than $35 million into Pie Face over the past five years with hopes of a sharemarket listing. There are understood to be about 30 shareholders.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/pie-face-bid-to-oust-cofounder-wayne-homschek-criticised-20150116-12r7o7.html


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