Sunday 7 July 2019 1:45 pm

Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods facing shareholder revolt over executive pay

Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods could face a shareholder revolt at its upcoming meeting over pay handed to its former chief executive. 

Shareholder advisory firm ISS is urging investors to oppose the company’s remuneration report at its annual general meeting (AGM) next week.

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In a note to shareholders ISS said Premier Foods, which owns the Ambrosia custard and Angel Delight brands, unnecessarily paid departing chief executive Gavin Darby a full salary.

Premier Foods did not “formally serve notice” when Darby’s exit was announced, ISS said. 

Darby left the role on 31 January, after his departure was announced on 13 November last year. He was paid £864,000 in lieu of his 12-month notice period.

The former chief executive faced a huge shareholder revolt last year that saw 41 per cent of investors vote against his re-election. 

“The company did not formally serve notice at the time of the announcement, however, and has paid a full 12-months payment in lieu of notice from the point of his departure,” ISS said.

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“This constitutes an unnecessary overpayment of approximately 2.5 months’ fixed pay to a departing CEO, with an equivalent time-in-service credit for outstanding Long Term Incentive Plans.

“This is not considered an appropriate use of shareholders’ funds, and as a result support for the remuneration report is not considered warranted.” 

A spokesperson for Premier Foods said: “The Remuneration Committee treated Gavin as a good leaver and determined his departure package in accordance with his service agreement and the Remuneration Policy.”