DTZ in turmoil as management walks out
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Wednesday 10 August 2011
The chief executive and finance director of DTZ yesterday walked out as a row with the commercial property agent's majority shareholder threatened to boil over.
The company announced that chief executive Paul Idzik, and finance head Robert Rickert resigned, although it did not give a reason. Shares in DTZ then plunged by almost 10 per cent on the news.
It is understood that the pair left over frustration that shareholder Saint George Participations, which owns 55 per cent of the company, had failed to table a concrete offer despite starting talks three months ago.
DTZ would only say that Mr Idzik "believes it is appropriate for a new leadership team to be put in place and has also decided to leave the company at this time".
Mr Rickert decided to leave, DTZ added, having made "substantial progress with the major cost-reduction and restructuring programme, for which he was recruited two and a half years ago".
It is believed that the two managers could not understand why the investor, which is very familiar with the structure of DTZ, could drag its heels for so long, and have pushed the non executive directors to issue a put-up-or-shut-up deadline to SGP. The tension was exacerbated by the presence of three SGP officials on DTZ's board.
The initial news that DTZ was in talks to be taken private came in May, after speculation around a potential deal had driven its shares higher. The group revealed at the time it was holding discussions with "various parties".
Shortly after, French property group SGP confirmed it was one of the companies in talks. It is believed the group had made an indicative bid of 60p per share and is keen to merge it with BNP Paribas' real estate operation almost immediately.
DTZ said yesterday it "has received a number of approaches for investment in its shares," before adding: "Whilst there can be no certainty that theseapproaches will lead to a transaction, the Board continues to review these and discussions are progressing."
In yesterday's statement, DTZ also announced it had appointed John Forrester, currently the head of the company's UK and Irish operations, as the new chief executive. James Thomson, the chief financial officer has been promoted to group finance director. Both have also joined the board.
The company posted a full-year loss of £600,000 in July after swinging from a profit of £3m a year earlier. The management admitted at the time that the results were "disappointing" but said it had gained some momentum in the second half. Mr Idzik said: "Reversing the trend of revenue decline and achieving profitable organic growth now have to happen for DTZ to deliver improved financial performance."
The management team had moved to restructure the business whose shares had tumbled over 40 per cent in the past year.
Advisers to Saint George Participations could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
Oscar Pistorius trial: Photographs of Paralympian splattered in blood shown in court
Seth Rogen compiles list of all the celebrities he’s got high with
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Satellite ‘pings sent five hours after contact was lost' the only clue in hunt for £160m plane
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: New radar evidence suggests missing plane may have been hijacked
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
- 3 Saving a crushed egg with tape and glue: Why you should care about the kakapo
- 4 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 5 Lady Gaga has struggled with eating disorders in the past, so it's indefensible that she's glamourising bulimia in her SXSW set
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £43000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A global lea...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - UNI...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...