THE founder of a Swiss investment firm that called for a break up of John Menzies has joined the company’s board indicating more upheaval may be on the way for a mainstay of corporate Scotland.

Read more: John Menzies severs historic links with nespaper trade

Edinburgh-based Menzies said Christian Kappelhoff-Wulff of Lakestreet Capital Partners has been appointed a non-executive director with immediate effect, with a role that will give him significant influence.

Mr Kappelhoff-Wulff will sit on a new Strategic Committee formed by the firm, which recently decided to focus on the aviation services business and severed its links with the newspaper distribution trade in which it made its name.

Menzies said the committee will evaluate key decisions including significant capital investments and any potential future mergers and acquisitions activity.

The committee’s members include the firm’s chairman, Dermot Smurfit, who said: “I am pleased to welcome Christian to the Board and look forward to his advice and guidance as we look to seize the opportunities that exist within our markets.”

The appointment comes months after a dramatic shake up at Menzies, which may not have produced the results some hoped for.

Read more: Shares dive in Menzies as boss Black departs 

In July last year Menzies struck a deal to sell its newspaper distribution business to private equity investors for £74.5m cash.

The deal came after years of pressure for a break-up from some investors, who reckoned the aviation services and distribution arms did not belong together.

Lakestreet started agitating for a break-up of John Menzies in 2015 and currently has a 6.4% holding.

However, Menzies has seen its share price fall from 648p in July to below 480p amid signs the company is facing challenges in the aviation support market.

In March Menzies parted company with former chief executive Forsyth Black who led the aviation business for three years.

The day his departure was announced Menzies noted that trading in the first two months of the current year had been tempered by soft cargo volumes and continuing difficult labour markets in North America.

Read more: Menzies stalkers have over 27 per cent of its shares

Shareholder Value Management, which echoed Lakestreet’s past calls for change at Menzies, yesterday expressed concern about the current valuation of the firm.

Gianluca Ferrari, an analyst with Frankfurt-based SVM, told Reuters: “The current market valuation of John Menzies is substantially lower than what we have seen in private market transactions and we applaud the board for taking the first concrete steps aimed at closing that gap.”

Menzies has a market capitalisation of around £400m.

Scottish firms that some investors felt were undervalued by the stock market have been taken private, including the Clyde Blowers business led by Jim McColl.

Read more: Billionaire Scot McColl in plan to launch his own bank

Analysts at Berenberg investment bank noted: “Activist investors have been a part of Menzies for a number of years now, pushing management to dispose of the logistics business …. Post the disposal, it is unclear what the activists’ intentions are, although we would assume that Christian’s intentions are ultimately to improve the current share price given the c30% fall since the disposal.”

Chicago’s Kabouter Management has an 11.84% stake in John Menzies.

Menzies is also forming a Performance Management Committee, in support of its aim of achieving “best in class” margins and strong organic growth. Its members include corporate affairs director John Geddes. Interim chief executive GilesWilson and non-executive director Philipp Joeining will sit on both of the new committees.

Founded in 1833, Menzies became a household name after running a big chain of newsagents. The group sold its newsagents arm to WH Smith in 1998.Menzies family members own around 10% of the shares in the firm.

John Menzies shares closed down 9.5p at 476p.