Byrne at odds with Omega’s management

David Hellier
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MARK Byrne, the insurance entrepreneur that is seeking management control of Omega Insurance, has made it clear in recent days that he would be unlikely to wish to work with either the current chairman John Coldman or chief executive Richard Pexton, according to sources close to the group.

Byrne’s original tender offer for 25 per cent of the shares in Omega was met with approval by Coldman and Pexton, who were both part of the entrepreneur’s revival plan for the group.

But relations have deteriorated in recent weeks, especially since the lapsing of Byrne’s original tender offer. Byrne has said that his first offer, which would have led him to take control of Omega, has lapsed because all the necessary regulatory clearances that he needed have not come through. He has since proposed a second tender offer at a lower price to take into account a downturn in Omega’s financial position.

City A.M. understands that a meeting between Byrne and Pexton was called off at the last minute last week at Pexton’s request.

Meanwhile Omega shareholders are waiting to hear what the company proposes to do since the lapsing of Byrne’s offer.

Shares have been returned to investors wanting to sell at a price of 83p and an announcement from Omega yesterday failed to give any details about the next step.