Fight looms over plan for Macmillan

A ROW is looming over the future of Maxwell Communication Corporation between Price Waterhouse, the court-appointed administrators, and a firm of management consultants hired by Macmillan, the group's largest subsidiary.

For the last year Macmillan has retained the services of Talisman Management, a firm of strategy consultants that lists Olivier Roux, the finance director of Guinness during its bid for Distillers, as an associate and has close connections with Michael Ashcroft, chairman of ADT.

Talisman is understood to have recommended that Macmillan be put on sale on the open market to see whether there are any interested parties who wish to buy the group. Sources close to Macmillan said there has already been one approach to buy the group which has been turned away.

PW, however, hired the US bank JP Morgan to look into the best way to maximise Macmillan's value. Morgan concluded that it would be better to float the main publishing business and sell Official Airline Guides, the travel publishing arm.

Talisman has argued that it would be foolish to try and sell OAG at the moment as the sale could turn into a Dutch auction with only one bidder, the UK's Reed International.

The row has caused bad blood between PW and Macmillan. One senior PW partner has suggested that Macmillan's directors should be told to get rid of Talisman.

Talisman, which is staffed mainly by former consultants from Bain & Co, was hired by Macmillan shortly after Robert Maxwell's death in November last year. Two Boston-based partners of the group, Bill Achtmeyer and John Rutherford, were brought in to work closely with David Shafer, the chairman of Macmillan and a director of MCC.

In addition, Rick Grogan, the head of Talisman, worked closely with the management of MCC in the period between Maxwell's death and MCC's collapse in early December. Mr Grogan headed the team that bought Cope Allman, the packaging company, with the help of ADT, and sold it to Bowater earlier this year.

Mr Grogan was closely involved in the decision taken by MCC's directors to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US without telling the bankers who had lent over pounds 1.5bn to MCC.

A PW spokesman said Talisman is designated as 'profit enhancement consultants' working for Macmillan. It is understood that all Talisman's fees are paid directly by Macmillan and are not part of the pounds 15m of fees already charged by accountants, lawyers and consultants working on the MCC administration.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Citifocus Ltd: Product Development - Asset Management

£Attractive: Citifocus Ltd: High calibre individual with significant product d...

Citifocus Ltd: Credit Ratings - Banking Sector

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Leading global bank seeks experienced credit analy...

Citifocus Ltd: Economic Crime Investigation & Analysis

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: High calibre individual with a high degree...

Citifocus Ltd: Snr Risk Analyst - Capital & Liquidity

£Attractive: Citifocus Ltd: High calibre individual with superior academics an...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital