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

The Forzani Group Ltd./Le Groupe Forzani Ltee

May 27, 2009 18:06 ET

Glass Lewis Recommends Shareholders Vote the WHITE Proxy in Support of Forzani Group Board Nominees

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 27, 2009) - The Forzani Group Ltd. (TSX:FGL) ("FGL" or the "Company") announced today that Glass Lewis & Co., an independent proxy advisor, has recommended to its institutional clients that they vote the WHITE proxy FOR all eight of FGL's nominees for the Board of Directors.

In addition, FGL welcomed the recent disclosure by FGL's largest shareholder, Letko, Brosseau & Associates, that it intends to support all eight FGL nominees. Letko, Brosseau, a significant shareholder since 2004, currently exercises control or direction over portfolios that hold 4,846,135 shares of FGL, equivalent to approximately 15.9% of the shares outstanding.

With regard to Glass Lewis, the proxy advisor stated, "We see no reason to believe that the dissident nominees are better suited to execute the Company's strategic plan." Glass Lewis concluded, "We believe the dissident has failed to make a compelling case against the Company's current Board and management."

"We welcome the Glass Lewis recommendation," said John Forzani, Chairman of FGL. "We have a strong board of directors, good corporate governance, a clear and focused strategy, and a track record of success. The dissident has put forward two nominees who bring lesser qualifications, has justified its campaign with false and misleading statements, and has shown no regard for the strategic importance of Quebec to Forzani and its shareholders."

As previously disclosed, dissident Crescendo Partners, a hedge fund based in New York, has put forward two nominees for FGL's Board. Crescendo proposes to replace FGL's nominees Henri Drouin, who for 21 years ending in 2002 was Chairman of the Canadian hardware retail giant RONA Inc., and Donald Gass, a former partner with the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP and a former President of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Mr. Drouin, who is fluent in English and French, has been successful as a retail store owner, operator and franchisee in Quebec, and is a crucial local link between the Board and its Quebec franchisees, approximately 40% of whom are unilingual francophones. Mr. Gass, an accounting expert who holds the prestigious FCA (Fellow Chartered Accountant) designation, would serve as a member of the Audit Committee, ideally filling the gap that would otherwise have been left on the Board with the upcoming retirement of Bill Grace, also an accounting expert and FCA.

FGL believes shareholders should follow the Glass Lewis recommendation and support all eight FGL nominees, including Mr. Drouin and Mr. Gass. The Board election is scheduled to take place at the FGL annual meeting on June 10, 2009.

Vote the White Proxy

FGL urges shareholders to vote the WHITE proxy after reading FGL's letter to shareholders dated May 20, 2009 and FGL's Management Proxy Circular dated May 11, 2009. These documents were mailed to shareholders and are filed on SEDAR and the FGL website www.forzanigroup.com.

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 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