Grade wins the backing of Pinewood shareholder

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The Independent Online

The chairman of Pinewood Shepperton, Michael Grade, won the backing of one of the group's biggest shareholders yesterday, just two days after another of the film studios' significant backers said that Mr Grade lacked the desire and determination for the job.

In a letter to the former ITV chairman and head of the BBC Trust, the chief executive of SVG Investment Managers, Adam Steiner, urged Mr Grade to continue in the job. "We remain fully supportive of your strategy and wish to remain engaged with your continued efforts to deliver shareholder value," he said. "We urge you to vigorously resist any hostile attempts to disrupt the current structure of Pinewood's board."

Mr Steiner's intervention comes after another significant shareholder, Crystal Amber, said that Mr Grade lacked the "desire, the determination, the sweat or the toil to get the best for shareholders". SVG holds about 10 per cent of Pinewood's shares. Crystal Amber has a 18 per cent stake.

Sources close to SVG said that Crystal Amber's objections to Mr Grade's leadership were groundless, adding that the firm's approach to shareholder activism was "about 10 years out of date" and that it was offering no alternative to Mr Grade. Crystal Amber could not be reached for comment.