Daniel Wosner Oasis Premier Foods

Daniel Wosner of Oasis Management joined the Premier board in 2017

Oasis Management will no longer have a presence on the Premier Foods board following last week’s reduction in its shareholding position.

The Hong Kong hedge fund notified the Bisto and Oxo supplier that Daniel Wosner would not seek re-election and would step down from the board as non-executive director at the group’s upcoming AGM on 20 July.

It follows Oasis selling a 3.9% stake in Premier to the plc’s biggest shareholder Nissin Foods last week, which left the hedge fund with just a 1.8% holding in the group.

Premier chairman Colin Day said Wosner had made “an important and supportive contribution” to the company’s strategic thinking.

He added Premier had also made “substantial progress” with its objectives since Wosner joined the board in 2017.

“I would like to thank Daniel for his services to Premier Foods over this period and wish him well for the future,” Day said.

Wosner added: “I am very pleased with the transformation of Premier Foods, achieved under the current management and leadership of the chairman, resolving the issues which had been holding back the company and implementing a strategy to accelerate growth.

“I wish the board and its employees every success as it continues on its journey to deliver further shareholder value.”

Wosner took a seat on the Premier board after Oasis built a significant position in the business and agitated for major changes to its strategy.

Oasis owned a 17% stake in the company at one stage and was its second largest shareholder, striking an agreement to keep its stake between 7% and 15% until 2019.

The hedge fund was a vocal critic of the company and its former boss Gavin Darby, who oversaw a significant decline in the Premier share price after he rebuffed a hostile takeover attempt at 65p a share by US seasonings group McCormick in 2016.

Oasis also labelled Premier a “zombie” thanks to its stagnating sales and massive debt burden.

Since Darby left the group in January 2019, Premier has changed its entire management team, with new CEO Alex Whitehouse overseeing a turnaround in fortunes at the Mr Kipling owner.

Oasis has made a tidy profit from the sale of its holding in the company as shares surged from lows of 19.7p to more than 90p in 2020 as the pandemic pushed shoppers to stock up on trusted household brands such as Bisto, Ambrosia, Batchelors, Paxo and Sharwood’s.

Earlier this month, Premier beat City profit expectations in its latest annual results. Trading profits came in at £148.3m on revenues of £900.5m in the year ended 2 April 2022.