LKQ Corp. Touts ‘Board Refreshment;’ Is More In The Works?

LKQ Corp. has appointed Patrick Berard to its board of directors “as part of the board’s ongoing refreshment process,” the company announced Oct. 3. Berard is CEO of the Paris-based Rexel Group, a global distributor of electrical products and services for the energy market.

LKQ also announced that A. Clinton “Clint” Allen and William M. “Billy” Webster IV will retire from the board when their terms expire in connection with LKQ’s 2020 annual meeting. Following these changes, the size of the board will be reduced to 10 directors, eight of whom have joined since 2012.

Allen has been a director since 2003. In March, he was re-appointed as LKQ’s lead independent director. Allen is the chairman and CEO of A.C. Allen & Company, a holding company.

Webster, also a director since 2003, was the co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of Advance America, Cash Advance Centers Inc., a large payday advance lender.

Joseph Holsten, the chairman of LKQ, said in an announcement dated Oct. 3 that Berard brings experience in strategically and operationally important areas critical to LKQ.

“His addition to our board reflects another step in our ongoing board refreshment process, the current phase of which began in 2017,” Holsten stated. “Over the past 14 months, LKQ has added four new directors to the board who together bring important skills related to distribution and logistics, automotive technology, international markets, corporate governance and finance.

“The board and I are confident that the addition of Patrick will strengthen our governance profile and enhance oversight of our efforts to integrate and transform our European business while driving margin improvement across our operations in North America and Europe.”

This comes less than a month after activist investor ValueAct Capital disclosed that it has taken a 5.2% stake in LKQ and had discussions with company leaders regarding, among other things, board composition and whether it makes sense for a ValueAct Capital employee to be on LKQ’s board of directors. So, more “refreshment” may be coming.

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