Dawson defends pay-offs

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The Independent Online
Dawson International, the textile group best known for the Pringle sweater, has defended compensation payments of pounds 2.2m made to former directors for loss of office.

Speaking at the annual meeting in Edinburgh yesterday, Derek Finlay, chairman, said Dawson had no choice but to pay off managers whose contracts were terminated after the company lost nearly pounds 100m in the year to March 1994.

He said the company would have faced a costly legal battle had it not agreed a settlement. The meeting was attended by fewer than 100 shareholders, who treated the board to a round of applause for its re-organisation of the company.

Pursuing the matter in court would have been a distraction for the new directors, whose main objective was to get Dawson back on its feet.

"We took legal advice and our legal advice told us to go down the course we went down which was the result of tough negotiations between our lawyers and the lawyers of those directors."

Of the four departed directors the largest payment went to Philip Kemp.