The Forzani Group Ltd./Le Groupe Forzani Ltee
TSX : FGL

The Forzani Group Ltd./Le Groupe Forzani Ltee

May 29, 2009 07:00 ET

Forzani Group Responds to RiskMetrics Recommendation

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 29, 2009) - The Forzani Group Ltd. (TSX:FGL) ("FGL" or the "Company") today issued a response to a recommendation by proxy advisor RiskMetrics Group regarding a proxy contest for the election of directors at FGL's annual meeting on June 10, 2009.

RiskMetrics recommended that shareholders vote for six of the eight FGL nominees and one dissident nominee. This contradicts the recommendation yesterday of another proxy advisor, Glass Lewis & Co., which said that FGL shareholders should vote for all eight FGL nominees. As previously disclosed, Glass Lewis concluded that the dissident "failed to make a compelling case against the Company's current Board and management."

RiskMetrics, despite its recommendation, said it "recognizes the considerable achievements made by the company, the steps taken and the initiatives currently underway." The report had no criticism of Henri Drouin and Donald Gass, the two FGL nominees that RiskMetrics did not support.

"We respectfully disagree with RiskMetrics' recommendation that shareholders should vote for even one of the dissident nominees," said John Forzani, Chairman of FGL. "In our view, the dissident does not represent the interests of all shareholders, is less qualified than either Mr. Drouin or Mr. Gass, and if elected could have the unintended consequence of weakening the Board's ties to our franchisees in Quebec who deliver approximately one-third of Forzani's retail sales."

Said Mr. Forzani, "We invite shareholders to review our written submission to RiskMetrics, which shows that FGL has outperformed its peers, has applied good corporate governance practices, and has a clear and focused strategy. The Board changes proposed by the dissident would be disruptive and unnecessary, and may jeopardize the continued swift and effective execution of FGL's strategic plan."

For the full text of FGL's written submission to RiskMetrics, please visit FGL's website at www.forzanigroup.com.

Vote the White Proxy

FGL urges shareholders to vote the WHITE proxy after reading FGL's letter to RiskMetrics dated May 21, 2009, which is posted at FGL's corporate website www.forzanigroup.com. FGL shareholders should also read FGL's letter to shareholders dated May 20, 2009 and FGL's Management Proxy Circular dated May 11, 2009, which were mailed to shareholders and are filed on SEDAR and FGL's website.

Every vote counts, no matter how many or how few shares you own. For the votes to be counted, shareholders must execute and vote their WHITE proxies on or before 5:00 pm Toronto Time on June 8, 2009.

Even if you have already voted using Crescendo's proxy, you have every right to change your vote simply by executing the WHITE form of proxy. It is the later-dated proxy that will be counted.

FGL urges shareholders vote the WHITE proxy and elect all eight of Forzani's nominees. DO NOT let Crescendo succeed with its disruptive actions. Vote your WHITE proxy today.

About The Forzani Group

The Forzani Group Ltd. is Canada's largest national retailer of sporting goods, offering a comprehensive assortment of brand-name and private-brand products, operating stores from coast to coast, under the following corporate and franchise banners: Sport Chek, Coast Mountain Sports, Sport Mart, National Sports, Athletes World, Sports Experts, Intersport, Econosports, Atmosphere, Tech Shop/Pegasus, Nevada Bob's Golf, Hockey Experts, S3 and Fitness Source. The Company also has websites for several of its corporate and franchise banners, which can be accessed through its main website at www.forzani.com.

Corporate Website: www.forzanigroup.com

This news release contains certain statements that may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. This forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such information. Such information involves the use of such words as "may", "will", "expect", "believe", "plan", "intend", "are confident" and other similar terminology. This information reflects current expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speaks only as of the date of this news release. Forward-looking information involves significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be an accurate indication of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking information including, but not limited to, the factors discussed in the Company's Management Discussion and Analysis and Annual Information Form filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada, available at www.sedar.com. Although the forward-looking information in this news release is based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure actual results will be consistent with this forward-looking information and, therefore, you should not place undue importance on this information. While the Company may elect to do so, it does not undertake to update this forward looking information to reflect new information or circumstances at any particular time.

Contact Information

  • The Forzani Group Ltd.
    Robert Sartor, CA
    Chief Executive Officer
    (403) 717-1342
    or
    The Forzani Group Ltd.
    Michael Lambert, CA
    Chief Financial Officer
    (403) 717-1666
    Website: www.forzani.com
    or
    For Information Related to the Vote
    Georgeson
    North American Toll-Free: 1-888-605-8368
    or
    For Media
    Longview Communications
    Alan Bayless
    (604) 694-6035