Crystal: Grade still the wrong leader

Steve Dinneen
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Rogue shareholder Crystal Amber has continued its campaign against Pinewood chairman Michael Grade despite the film-studio upgrading its expectations for the year.

Crystal Amber has waged a campaign against Grade, whose stewardship of the firm and track record has been called into question.

Yesterday a spokesman told City A.M.: “We are pleased to see there are encouraging signs for the second half but our underlying concerns remain. Our views as the largest shareholder remain valid.”

Michael Grade declined to comment when contacted by City A.M. yesterday but chief executive Ivan Dunleavy defended the board’s performance.

He said: “We’re pleased with a resilient performance. We’re sure all of our shareholders are pleased that our revenue is expected to rise.

“We’re enthusiastic about the business. With Michael Grade as chairman we are running the business for shareholders. It is not appropriate to comment on individual personalities.

“We meet all of our shareholders individually on a regular basis and take their views into account.”

Crystal Amber recently increased its stake in the studio behind the Bond films from 16 to 27 per cent, making it the firm’s largest shareholder. January to June pre-tax profit for the group was £1.5m, down from £1.7m last year.