'pounds 6m payment' renews fat-cat row
Monday 27 November 1995
The Labour Party yesterday used an alleged pounds 6m payment to Ray McEnhill, former chief executive of the privatised coach group National Express, to reopen its attack on the Government's privatisation programme.
The money, said to have been paid by a former business associate, would make Mr McEnhill the wealthiest executive yet to emerge from the privatisation process. It is set to revive the storm over "fat cat" directors of former nationalised companies.
Alistair Darling, Labour's spokesman on the City, said: "I think the public will be astonished that there is so much cash floating around the privatised utilities. It confirms the suspicion that they were privatised at knock-down prices, rather than that they have been highly successful trading entities."
Mr McEnhill is said to have received the money last year as a "thank you present" from Dawson Williams, a former business partner. Mr Williams is now chairman of British Bus, the Salisbury-based bus group whose stock market flotation has been delayed by a Serious Fraud Office investigation into its bankers, Bank of Boston.
The two men, with Adam Mills, deputy chief executive of National Express, were the moving force behind a pounds 10m management buy-in at National Express in 1991. As part of their Drawlane group, National Express was turned round to profit and brought to the stock market in December 1992. But it was thought that certain bus interests acquired by Drawlane would not achieve the same rating as the National Express long-distance coach operations.
As a result, Mr Williams left his former partners, taking the Drawlane bus interests with him to form the basis of what became British Bus and Mr McEnhill gave up his stake in the company for "a few pounds".
Last year Mr Williams netted a profit of pounds 9m on selling part of his stake in British Bus to venture capitalists. He is thought to have made the pounds 6m payment to Mr McEnhill to thank him for standing by him in tougher times.
An adviser said yesterday it was "entirely within his character" for Mr Williams to make such gestures. It is understood that the transfer did not result from any written contract.
National Express had no comment to make yesterday about the payment to its former chief executive, which it said was "a personal matter between Mr McEnhill and Mr Williams".
- 1 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 2 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...