Salvesen plans under attack by investors
Thursday 05 December 1996
Five board members, including the chairman, Sir Alick Rankin, and chief executive, Chris Masters, were told that plans to pay a pounds 150m special dividend represented "a loss of confidence" and was "an act of defeatism", according to Sir Gerald Elliot, a former chairman who is orchestrating a campaign against the proposals.
Sir Gerald said the plan to demerge Salvesen's Aggreko generator hire operation also came in for criticism from Gordon Tourlemain, a former managing director of the business. Mr Tourlemain, who helped build the business after its acquisition by Salvesen in the 1980s, told the meeting it could not have developed had it not been part of the group. It would continue to require capital in the future and it would be hampered as a Stock Exchange listed company if it did not have access to capital, he is reported to have said.
The company refused to comment on yesterday's meeting.
The Salvesen family, descendants of the founder of the former whaling company, still control around 37 per cent of the shares. Two family members, Andrew and Robin, who remain on the board as non-executive directors, were part of the company delegation at yesterday's meeting, which is normally a routine presentation to large private shareholders after the company announces figures.
Salvesen's announcement of the restructuring proposals last week, which came alongside a 15 per cent rise in interim profits to pounds 51.6m, was the fulfilment of a pledge to increase shareholder value after the group rejected a tentative pounds 1.1bn takeover bid by rivals Hays in the summer.
Sir Gerald described Mr Masters' presentation on the figures yesterday as "a pretty good performance", but he said the other propositions drew "very considerable opposition" from shareholders. "Throwing back money to shareholders" was seen by some as representing a loss of confidence by management, Sir Gerald said. A number said they would prefer to see the money reinvested and fears were expressed about the resulting high level of gearing, which Salvesen expects will reach 110 per cent after the pay-out.
Another meeting with family members is scheduled to take place tomorrow in London.
- 1 Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Length of pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks, scientists discover
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Saudi Arabia's King Salman sacks senior aide for 'slapping' a journalist behind him live on TV
Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...
£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...