MGN directors were told of missing 100m pounds
Trevor Cook, manager of the Mirror Group Pension Scheme, told a meeting of MGN's board on 18 November last year that there were serious problems.
Prior to the meeting, which is not mentioned in the account of events contained in MGN's report and accounts, Mr Cook had told some of the directors of his worries and asked for a meeting to be convened.
It took place less than two weeks after Robert Maxwell's death but two weeks before the directors told the rest of MGN's board and the group's shares were suspended at 125p. The shares stood at 117p on 18 November.
The Stock Exchange has said MGN directors should have alerted shareholders to their worries over missing money earlier. The revelation that MGN directors knew so early about problems with the pension funds will add to pressure for the resignations of those at the meeting.
It was chaired by Ian Maxwell, Robert's son, and was attended by Sir Robert, Mr Horwood, Ernest Burrington, who last month stood down as MGN's chairman, Lawrence Guest, who resigned as the group's finance director, and Alan Clements, the former ICI finance director who was a non-executive director. Other directors say they did not learn of its contents until later.
Ian Maxwell remained chairman and his brother Kevin remained on the board until 2 December, when they announced their resignations.
At the 18 November meeting Mr Cook said that pounds 103m due to the Maxwell pension schemes was missing. The money had come from the sale of shares in Scitex, an Israeli printing company, in October. It has now emerged it was used to pay Maxwell private company debts.
MGN's report and accounts reveal that at that time the group's directors also had worries about money missing from MGN. Mr Guest had raised concerns about money being transferred from MGN to Maxwell private companies in September. This had been communicated to MGN's merchant bankers, Samuel Montagu, who had approached Maxwell and later Mr Clements.
On 29 October Mr Clements and Sir Robert raised the issue of pounds 28.8m that was missing with Maxwell. The accounts then say: 'Robert Maxwell's death intervened. Those directors continued to press Ian Maxwell, Kevin Maxwell and Michael Stoney (managing director, finance, of MGN) for an explanation and the return of the funds until the supsension of the company's shares from listing in December 1991, when it became apparent the funds were irrecoverable.'
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £25K: SThree: SThree Group has been well estab...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...
£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...