Cayzer family forces Buckley to quit as Caledonia chief executive

By Katherine Griffiths
Monday 20 January 2014 05:56
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Caledonia Investments, the group in which the Cayzer family has a substantial investment, yesterday announced the appointment of a new chief executive following a protracted row about the management of the business.

Peter Buckley, who has been chairman and chief executive of the business for 12 years, is stepping down as chief executive from 10 June.

He will be replaced by Tim Ingram, 54, who was a senior executive at Abbey National.

Mr Ingram was ousted from the bank in February along with two other senior employees who did not fully support the strategy of Abbey National's chief executive, Ian Harley.

Mr Buckley was asked to split the management role at Caledonia last summer by Sir James Cayzer, the head of the famous shipping family and a substantial shareholder in the Cayzer trust, which owns 34 per cent of Caledonia Investments.

Mr Buckley, who is nearly 60, resisted the move at the time but has since changed his mind. He will remain as chairman of Caledonia.

Sir James also criticised the way Caledonia was being run, particularly its 30 per cent discount to the net asset value of its shares.

Announcing results for the 12 months to 31 March, Caledonia Investments showed that its discount had narrowed to 25 per cent. Measured by the value of its underlying investments, the net value of its assets per share fell 2.2 per cent over the year, outperforming the FTSE All-Share index. Its shares rose 4p to 822.5p.

But profits fell 85 per cent to £8.2m, hit by the poor performance of its investment in the brokerage Close Brothers and several other companies.

The result was dragged down by a £3.4m loss in the second half, when private equity businesses were shunned by the market, compared to a £23m profit in the same period last year.

Caledonia Investments has built up a large cash pile, partly due to the sale of its stake in English & Scottish Investors for a net profit of £71.5m.

Caledonia paid a total dividend of 25p in the year to the end of March, up from 24p in the previous year.

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