Investors rebel against Plus Markets sale

INVESTORS in troubled exchange owner Plus Markets yesterday called for leading directors to step down after they accepted a controversial takeover bid from ICAP.

One investor told City A.M. that he hasn’t “spoken to anyone who is going to vote in favour” of the bid and that he believes the board is “very, very worried”.

Shareholders owning 20 per cent of the firm have now tabled AGM  motions calling for the CEO and chairman to leave the board.

Plus originally said it would shut down its flagship stock exchange after failing to find a buyer.

But on 18 May the board announced an exclusivity deal with broker ICAP to dispose of the unit for £1, angering shareholders who claim they were left in the dark.

The ICAP deal will see the two executive directors share £423,000, while advisers take home £960,000.

Private investor Simon Chapman, who owns three per cent of the firm, said: “The directors are doing rather well out of this derisory offer. ICAP are doing well because they’re getting something valuable for a pittance. I can’t quite see where the shareholders’ interest has come into this.

“In the best case scenario there will be residual cash of around £640,000, or 0.25p a share.”