Cash machine firm ousts chief executive

The cash machine company Cardpoint ousted its founder and chief executive Mark Mills yesterday, and parachuted in Southern Water's chairman Bob Thian to head up the board.

Mr Thian, who is to be Cardpoint's chairman, will start in an executive capacity, before eventually appointing a management team and stepping back into a non-executive role.

Disgruntled shareholders, who have suffered two profits warnings and a collapse in the company's share price over the past year, have been the driving force behind the management changes at the company, which operates private cash machines.

Mr Thian was quick to get to work yesterday, saying he was already minded to knock back the current 100p-a-share offer on the table, which the board received two weeks ago from an unnamed bidder. "There's a formal bid on the table and the board has to consider it, but it won't take too long," he said. "It feels like it's in the 'far too low' club."

Mr Mills has agreed to stay on for a three-month handover period. Shares in the company rose more than 3 per cent to close at 81.75p, giving the group a market value of £86m.

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