Comment: Andrew Cook gets the last laugh

Andrew Cook always did run his company, the metal-bashing concern William Cook, like a private fiefdom; now it's actually going to become one. With news of yesterday's buyout bid, the Cadbury and Greenbury codes on corporate governance and pay, which never seemed to mean a great deal to him, can now safely be buried altogether.

For a time there, it looked as if Mr Cook would be toppled, not so much because the City didn't believe his claims that the company was worth much more than Triplex Lloyd was bidding, but because investors were heartily fed up with what was widely seen as a cavalier approach to capital markets. They were as a consequence preparing to sell him out.

Mr Cook made so little effort to keep analysts and investors informed about progress down the years that forecasts made during the Triplex bid of better-than-expected profits were met with widespread incredulity. Promises to mend his ways by appointing more non-executives and splitting the role of chairman and chief executive always sounded a bit hollow, coming from someone who once described his pounds 1.5m golden parachute as "a pittance".

It was also quite difficult to reconcile his claim that William Cook was worth at least double Triplex Lloyd's original 309p offer when a month before the bid was launched both his pension fund and William Cook bought back shares in the company at prices between 239p-248p a share. But Mr Cook gets the last laugh.

Now up pop some venture capitalists who not only believe his valuation arguments, but don't appear to give a fig about all those corporate governance concerns either. It seems unlikely that Triplex Lloyd can come back, given the hammering its share price has taken during the course of this bid. Nor can it really feign surprise at the turn of events. On 20 December it said in a circular: "If William Cook really believes it is worth very substantially in excess of Triplex Lloyd's offer, is should set about finding someone prepared to pay that price because it does not appear able to deliver this value on its own." Oh dear.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
i100... with this review
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam