Storm brews for superyacht company YCO


Plans to take private a listed super-yacht company favoured by the likes of Roman Abramovich and Sir Philip Green could be voted down at its annual general meeting today.

The directors of YCO need 75 per cent approval to delist the company, but its former chairman Laurence Milton claims to have gathered a significant blocking stake. He told The Independent that he has gathered proxy votes and support of 15-20 per cent, which puts the poll on a knife-edge should anyone else oppose the board.

Soaring pay at the firm has angered investors as shares tanked from 49p on flotation four years ago to a closing price of 5.88p on Friday. There is expected to be a significant vote against the remuneration report, with Mr Birkett's pay up 28 per cent last year to nearly £295,000. The company made a pre-tax loss last year of £4.1m, down from a £600,000 profit in 2010.

Due to the collapse in the share price, Mr Milton's band of investors argue that taking the company private would make their stock effectively worthless. Management said that a delisting from the junior Aim market would allow them to focus on the business rather than spend time and money wading through the burdensome regulations associated with being a public company.

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