Top Mecom investors move to oust founder Montgomery

The three largest shareholders in the European publishing group Mecom have moved to oust its founder, David Montgomery, a former editor of News of the World.

Aviva Investors, Invesco and Legal & General Investment Management, which collectively own more than 50 per cent of the company, want to replace Mr Montgomery as chief executive with the experienced broadcasting executive Patrick Tillieux, it emerged yesterday.

Mecom's board, led by its chairman, Alasdair Locke, held talks with the rebel shareholders in London yesterday in the latest of a series of meetings. It rejected the institutions' demand that the board commit to replacing Mr Montgomery and Mecom's chief operating officer, Keith Allen, by the company's trading update next month.

The fund managers are now considering calling an extraordinary meeting to push through their proposals. One source close to the investors said: "They have decided they have had enough and want a change."

David Lis, the head of UK equities at Aviva, would only say: "We have been engaged in discussions with Mecom on a regular basis regarding succession planning." Invesco and Legal & General were not available for comment. Mecom also declined to comment.

Insiders at the publisher, which owns newspapers in countries including the Netherlands, Denmark and Poland, said they were shocked when the "rumblings" first emerged from the major shareholders before the summer.

The institutions had previously backed Mr Montgomery after a failed coup in January 2009. Six non-executive directors resigned after they failed to unseat Mr Montgomery, who was then executive chairman.

They also supported the rights issue which was launched by the company several months later. Mecom pointed to its half-yearly report in July, which showed pre-tax losses had narrowed.

A source close to Mecom said: "The board is none the wiser as to why there has been such a U-turn." Yet the source close to the investors said: "There is a view that the company would be better run with new management."

They have proposed the appointment of Mr Tillieux, former chief operating officer of ProSiebenSat.1, one of Germany's two main private broadcasters. The Mecom board has met Mr Tillieux, and has decided, after due diligence by headhunter Russell Reynolds, that he would not make a suitable replacement.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before