Investment Musclemen Set to Protest at Granada AGM

17 March 2003

The twanging of flexed pectorals and deltoids could overturn the carefully rehearsed blandness of Granada’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Two muscular bodies representing investors will attempt to rewrite the script – specifically those parts of it that relate to corporate governance and Granada’s agreed merger with Carlton Communications, referred last week to the Competition Commission [WAMN: 12-Mar-03].

The National Association of Pension Funds will urge Granada shareholders to abstain on resolutions to re-elect executive chairman Charles Allen and his co-director Graham Parrott, both of whom enjoy rolling two-year contracts. Such deals are now held to be contrary to corporate best practice, the norm for senior executives at other large media companies being one year.

At the same time, the Association of British Insurers whose members control some twenty per cent of the UK stock market, are unenthused at the mutual backscratching reflected by the planned boardroom structure in the merged company, the more so because of investor concerns that the respective managements of the betrothed couple are mishandling the merger.

Both bodies are also likely to repeat their protests at Carlton’s AGM, scheduled for next week.

Data sourced from: Financial Times and Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff