LSE moves to head off rebels battling to oust Cruickshank

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The Independent Online

The London Stock Exchange is gathering proxy votes ahead of Thursday's meeting of shareholders to avert a potentially embarrassing vote against chairman Don Cruickshank.

The London Stock Exchange is gathering proxy votes ahead of Thursday's meeting of shareholders to avert a potentially embarrassing vote against chairman Don Cruickshank.

Rebel shareholders opposed to the Anglo-German iX merger plan are threatening to register their disquiet at the proposals by either voting against or abstaining.

Gavin Casey, the chief executive and architect of the iX deal is also expected to get a rough ride when he is put up for re-election to the LSE board. Another target for the rebels' action is Michael Marks, the head of Merrill Lynch Europe, who was embarrassed last week by a leak of an internal report commissioned by the firm, which showed huge problems with the merger. Mr Marks has a strong personal identification with iX.

Many of the unhappy shareholders said last week they were reluctant to vote against Mr Cruickshank and leave the Exchange in chaos in the midst of a hostile bid, from Swedish stock exchange operator OM, but few such qualms are felt about registering opposition to other board members. Meanwhile, the German exchange's supervisory board, which meets today, is widely expected to delay the 14 September shareholder vote to approve iX, amid gathering scepticism about the project in both Frankfurt and London.

OM Group is expected to start lobbying the LSE's 298 shareholders in earnest this week. Its offer document is expected to be published today.

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