Cannon's 345,000 pounds payoff: Group says chief's payment was 'in line with entitlements'

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The Independent Online
ROBIN BINKS, who stepped down as chief executive of Cannon Street Investments earlier this year, has received a pounds 345,000 payoff from the troubled mini-conglomerate.

The payment relates to the termination of his three-year 'rolling' service contract with the company, which reported a pounds 115m loss for the year to 2 January, up from pounds 34m in 1991.

Mr Binks joined the group from S G Warburg as part of a new management in November 1990 after Cannon Street ran into severe financial problems under its founder, Bill Hislop.

He returned to merchant banking last March after handing over the reins to his friend David Smith, former chief executive of Isosceles, the debt-laden Gateway supermarket group.

According to CSI's 1992 annual report, out yesterday, Mr Binks was paid an annual salary - excluding pension contributions - of about pounds 185,000.

The report says that he owns 116,000 shares and options over another one million in CSI. However, the options rights are likely to lapse as a result of his departure.

A company spokesman said that the settlement was in line with Mr Binks' legal entitlements. 'He has played a key part in the group's survival over the past two years,' he said.

The company's results reflected pounds 57m goodwill write-offs and another pounds 42.5m loss was incurred on the sale or closure of unwanted businesses.

The loss per share amounted to 114p against a 37p deficit the previous year.

Although the group's massive disposal programme under Mr Binks reduced debts from pounds 75m to about pounds 15m, it still owes pounds 25m to the Bank of Scotland in loan notes.

Tom Long, chairman, expects the group to return to profit in the current year and says that shareholders will 'see the benefits of a revitalised group'.

The shares rose 2.25p to 32p yesterday. They were trading at 2.5p in January.