Martin steps down at Grand Met: New role as adviser on pounds 500,000 a year

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The Independent Online
IAN MARTIN has resigned as joint non-executive deputy chairman of Grand Metropolitan after just four months, but will still be paid about pounds 500,000 a year to advise the international food and drinks group.

Grand Met has also let him retain 387,000 share options, granted at prices between 215p and 417p, compared with yesterday's closing market value of 463p, down 3p.

Mr Martin, who gave up his executive managing directorship after losing to George Bull in the race to become chief executive of Grand Met last September, has formed an investment partnership with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the US company.

'I feel I've got a little more gas in my tank than will be used up in a non-executive role,' said Mr Martin, who is 58 and credited with masterminding Grand Met's dollars 5.8bn purchase of Pillsbury, the food company, in 1989.

He is also a director of St Paul Companies, the US insurance firm, and the Granada leisure and House of Fraser stores groups in the UK.

Before cementing the link with KKR, Mr Martin said he had been approached by several headhunters. 'I turned down one Footsie chairmanship. I need intellectual stimulation.'

He said his aim was to find and invest in undervalued situations in the UK and continental Europe through Glenisla, a private company funded by KKR and named after Mr Martin's favourite salmon fishing beat in Scotland.

Mr Martin, who will be chairman and chief executive of Glenisla, said investments may include making acquisitions to construct a platform in a fragmented industry.

He said another option was to make bigger acquisitions of established companies.

While he hoped that any acquisitions made would beon agreed terms, he said: 'One never says there will never be a hostile takeover - there might be.'

(Photograph omitted)