Shareholders rebel against Melrose executive pay

Catherine Neilan
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(FILES) A picture taken 17 April 2007 in...
Each of the four executives received at least £42m last year (Source: Getty)

More than a fifth of investors have rejected Melrose Industries' remuneration report after the group behind the £8bn hostile takeover of engineer GKN handed more than £40m to each of its top four executives.

The resolution was passed after 77.13 per cent of shareholders backed it, despite 22.87 per cent voting against it.

A "significant protest" is usually considered to be 20 per cent or above. Melrose' share price fell during the day's trading and was down 0.8 per cent by mid-afternoon.

Ahead of the shareholder meeting Melrose had pledged to review its pay packages in light of its recent acquisition of GKN, which has brought the turnaround firm under the spotlight in recent weeks.

Melrose’s four top executives - Simon Peckham, David Roper, Christopher Miller and Geoffrey Martin - masterminded the £8.1bn hostile takeover of car and aircraft parts manufacturer GKN, which narrowly secured the investor vote in March with a 52.5 per cent backing.

The executives each received at least £42m in 2017, thanks to a long-term incentive plan that entitled the executives at the company to 7.5 per cent of the increase in the value of the business in total over a five-year performance period.

They will receive another bonus if they deliver on their turnaround plans for GKN.

The protest - which was backed by investor group Pirc - follows a wave of revolts as shareholders reject spiralling executive pay.

Last week, Inmarsat became the first company to lose its vote on its pay report so far this year, while others including Persimmon, Safestore Holdings and CRH have struggled to keep investors onside.

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