Manweb directors enjoy pounds 3-4m payoff bonanza after takeover in

MARY FAGAN

Industrial Correspondent

Directors of Manweb, the regional firm taken over last week by Scottish Power after a fierce battle, left the company with payoffs estimated to be worth between pounds 3m and pounds 4m. The main beneficiary is thought to be John Roberts, Manweb's chief executive, who gains more than pounds 1m from termination of his two-year rolling contract, share options and shares.

As the final chapter of Manweb's struggle closed, Texas Energy Partners withdrew its bid for another regional firm, Norweb, after a knockout pounds 1.8bn bid on Wednesday by rival North West Water. Texas is now believed to be preparing to launch a fresh bid for another electricity company.

Scottish Power, which by last Friday night owned or had acceptances in respect of 61 per cent of Manweb's shares, has replaced Mr Roberts with Mike Kinski, one of its own directors. Ian Robinson, Scottish Power's chief executive, becomes chairman of Manweb.

Mr Robinson called on all remaining Manweb shareholders to accept the pounds 1.1bn offer - worth pounds 9.90 per share - which has now been recommended by the outgoing board. But the Scottish group is thought to be surprised at the amount of money it has had to pay to the former directors of the electricity firm.

City analysts continued to speculate over which electricity company would be the next to fall. Texas Energy, a partnership between Houston Industries and Central South West, is known to have a shortlist of favoured targets. One industry source said: "They will analyse their options. The pressure to move is that these regional firms are a dying breed. They are becoming extinct."

Texas Energy said: "North West Water's further increased offer valued at pounds 11.70 is at a level where we see no merits for our shareholders to compete for Norweb. We wish the shareholders, customers and employees of Norweb and North West Water well."

Tom Shockley, co-chairman of Texas, said that the partners continue to believe in the rationale underlying the bid for Norweb, which at one point had been favoured by the electricity firm's board. The Takeover Panel gave Texas Energy permission to withdraw without having issued its offer document, which industry sources said will allow it more flexibility in coming back with a different bid.

Shares in London Electricity jumped by 29p to pounds 9.27 as City analysts singled it out as the likeliest alternative for the US group or for a bid from Thames Water. There was also speculation that Yorkshire Electricity could fall prey to either Texas or to GEC.

North West Water, whose pounds 11.70 per share offer has been criticised in the City as "very overpriced", yesterday took its stake in Norweb to 29.9 per cent. The company will seek shareholder approval for the acquisition at an Extraordinary General Meeting in Manchester today.

Unions attacked the plans to merge North West with Norweb, predicting that thousands of jobs will go. Unison, the public sector union, plans to lobby the EGM, dressed as "fat cats", under the banner: "Public service not private sleaze".

A union spokesman said that the takeover would benefit only directors and large shareholders rather than customers. North West has admitted that the takeover will not feed through in lower bids for water customers for several years.

One City analyst warned of the regulatory and political risks facing the enlarged group, which will now be subject to price controls and scrutiny by two watchdogs, Offer and Ofwat.

Earlier this week Jack Cunningham, Labour's trade and industry spokesman, demanded the entire electricity industry be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
News
Robyn Lawley
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
Voices
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
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

1st Line Support Technician / Application Support

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...

Team Secretary - (Client Development/Sales Team) - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...

Accountant / Assistant Management Accountant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star