Thread: Southend-2
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 11:15
  #1708 (permalink)  
Andy_S
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Clarty Waters, UK
Age: 54
Posts: 906
Originally Posted by SEN Observer View Post
I am not a believer in paid for access to newspaper websites; is anyone prepared to enlighten me as to the contents of the FT report? If not then I'll just wait for it to become general knowledge.
That's weird; the link worked yesterday. But anyway, this is the actual text:


A bitter public boardroom battle at Stobart Group came to a head on Friday with an acrimonious annual general meeting. The infrastructure group, whose assets include Southend airport and a biomass business, has been in turmoil since May, when former chief executive Andrew Tinkler launched a campaign to unseat chairman Iain Ferguson. However, the results of the AGM — showing whether Mr Tinkler has been successful — were delayed past the close of business on Friday, which is unusual and typically indicates the vote was close. The AGM itself was fractious with several shareholders calling on Mr Ferguson to stand down. “I will not be standing down,” he said. “One of the great sadnesses of the last few weeks has been that our relationship [Mr Ferguson and Mr Tinkler] has deteriorated after four years of working together.” William Stobart, son of the founder of the Eddie Stobart truck haulage business and a close friend of Mr Tinkler, said at the meeting that the board had damaged the company brand and that his phone had been “red hot” with calls from unhappy employees. Mr Ferguson acknowledged there had been a “significant dispute at Stobart over the past weeks”. “As chairman of a listed company, you never want disputes to impact on the business. However, it is important that debate happens in a transparent way.” He added that there were “hugely important principles at stake”, including how all “boards must be professional and put ethics at the heart of everything they do”. On the morning of the AGM, Stobart’s chief financial officer stood down. In an announcement to the stock market, the company said that Richard Laycock had decided to step down as “chief financial officer and executive director and will not be putting himself forward for election at the AGM”. Recommended UK companies Stobart moves shares around ahead of crucial AGM vote Mr Laycock has been silent over the past couple of months, with shots mainly exchanged between Mr Tinkler and chief executive Warwick Brady. Mr Tinkler was fired as a director of Stobart Group in June, following his efforts to remove Mr Ferguson and replace him with retail entrepreneur Philip Day. Stobart said at the time it was issuing legal proceedings against Mr Tinkler, alleging “breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty”. Mr Tinkler then launched defamation proceedings against Stobart’s board, including Mr Laycock. In an email to Mr Ferguson, Mr Laycock said he had not approved the statement Mr Tinkler was complaining about. Mr Tinkler failed in a legal case this week to have himself reinstated on the AGM’s ballot for re-election as a director. The votes for and against Mr Ferguson’s election among major shareholders were looking tight before the AGM. Largest shareholder Invesco, which owns 25 per cent, had said it would support Mr Ferguson, as had Royal London, with 2.6 per cent. Fund manager Neil Woodford, whose Woodford Investment Management has 20 per cent, said it would vote against Mr Ferguson, as would Mr Tinkler, who owns 7.8 per cent, and Allan Jenkinson, a former Stobart director who sold his biomass business to the company when Mr Tinkler was chief executive and owns 5.6 per cent. Proxy advisers Glass Lewis and ISS had both advised shareholders to vote for Mr Ferguson.
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