Rogers Faces Family Lawsuit Over Board Access and Information
Two members of the family controlling Rogers, have filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging they have been excluded from board meetings and denied access to information.
Melinda Rogers-Hixon and her sister, Martha Rogers, claim the company’s actions have been “oppressive” toward them. The lawsuit reignites a longstanding power struggle within the Rogers family, whose controlling stake in the public company is estimated to be worth close to $8 billion.
In a letter contained in the court filing, Rogers-Hixon accuses her older brother, Rogers Chair Edward Rogers, of harbouring a “personal vendetta” against her. She states that the siblings were close to resolving their differences, but Edward Rogers backed out of the agreement.
The siblings had previously agreed to set aside their disputes temporarily as the company sought regulatory approval for its $20 billion acquisition of Shaw, one of the largest corporate transactions in Canadian history.
The lawsuit also reveals that both sisters are being excluded from parts of board and committee meetings and are receiving redacted board documents. “I cannot properly perform my duties as a director if information that is provided to the rest of the directors is being withheld from me,” Rogers-Hixon said in her affidavit.
The sisters are seeking a judge’s order to compel the company to share information and allow them full access to board meetings, reports Bloomberg. The court documents do not clarify whether the family members discussed selling their stake in Rogers or leaving their roles at the company.
The lawsuit comes amid an ongoing investigation by Rogers’ corporate governance committee into events that occurred in 2021, including the firing of five directors and the replacement of then-CEO Joe Natale with Tony Staffieri. The family dynamics have been further complicated by the recent deaths of three key insiders, including the siblings’ mother, Loretta Rogers, who passed away last June.