Sto­bart sack­ing raises ante in bust-up

Irish Independent - - Business - John Mul­li­gan

THE UK-based transport and en­ergy Sto­bart Group has sacked for­mer CEO An­drew Tin­kler as a di­rec­tor, rais­ing the ante in a board­room bustup that will see a show­down at the com­pany’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing next month.

Sto­bart, whose avi­a­tion unit op­er­ates the Aer Lin­gus Re­gional ser­vice on a fran­chise ba­sis, con­firmed it has ter­mi­nated Mr Tin­kler’s em­ploy­ment.

“The com­pany an­nounces that, fol­low­ing the re­ceipt of com­pre­hen­sive le­gal ad­vice, it has to­day served no­tice on An­drew Tin­kler, sum­mar­ily ter­mi­nat­ing his em­ploy­ment with the Sto­bart Group”, it noted in the state­ment, adding that the ter­mi­na­tion was ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

“The com­pany will also be is­su­ing le­gal pro­ceed­ings im­mi­nently against Mr Tin­kler for, amongst other things, breach of con­tract and breach of fidu­ciary duty,” the state­ment added. Sto­bart said it will write to share­hold­ers shortly to pro­vide them with fur­ther in­for­ma­tion “in­clud­ing its con­cerns that Mr Tin­kler and his as­so­ci­ates are at­tempt­ing to se­cure con­trol of the com­pany”.

Mr Tin­kler, who owns 7.7pc of Sto­bart Group, is lead­ing an as­sault on the com­pany’s chair­man, Iain Fer­gu­son. He and other share­hold­ers hope to oust the in­cum­bent at the up­com­ing an­nual gen­eral meet­ing. In a state­ment he said Mr Fer­gu­son and the com­pany’s CEO War­wick Brady were “at­tempt­ing to deny share­hold­ers the right to de­ter­mine the lead­er­ship of the Board”.

Mr Tin­kler has mus­tered sup­port from share­hold­ers in­clud­ing Wood­ford In­vest­ment Man­age­ment, owned by fund man­ager Neil Wood­ford, which owns 20pc.

Mr Brady said: “Mr Tin­kler’s ac­tions, par­tic­u­larly in re­cent days, have threat­ened to desta­bilise the com­pany and se­verely im­pacted my abil­ity and that of my team to man­age the busi­ness on a day-to-day ba­sis”.

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