J2C chief to pocket £3.6m from putting dot.com out of its misery

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The Independent Online

Company directors at J2C, which operated business-to-business internet portals, inched closer to receiving multi-million pound payouts after shutting down the dot.com firm for failing to deliver on its original business plan.

J2C confirmed it planned to return £32.97m to shareholders, equating to 35.5p a share, although investors, which include Prudential and 3i, have still to approve the deal at a special meeting, slated for 15 October.

Once the plan has been agreed, however, it will produce a £3.6m payout for Karl Watkin, the chief executive, who owns around 11 per cent of the business. He is said to have invested in the order of £30,000.

Graeme Lowdon, who stepped down from the role of operations director in February, is set to receive a similar figure while Sir Michael Bett, the former chairman of BT Cellnet, is in line for a £380,000 payout. He is said to have invested around £10,000. Alan Donnelly, the former leader of Labour's MEPs, is thought to have invested just £1,250 but will gain in the order of £460,000 for his holding while Luke Johnson, the serial entrepreneur, will get some £760,000 but is said to have put in only around £2,000.

The company said yesterday that shareholders representing around 32 per cent of the equity have already said they plan to vote in favour of the move. None of J2C's directors will be voting at the meeting.