Saturday 19 August 2017

Ex-Smurfit Kappa chief McGann makes close to €750,000 on the back of share sale

Mr McGann stepped down from the chief executive role at Smurfit Kappa in August
Mr McGann stepped down from the chief executive role at Smurfit Kappa in August
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

Former Smurfit Kappa chief executive Gary McGann has sold shares in his old employer worth nearly three quarters of a million euro.

In a stock exchange announcement, the paper and packaging giant said Mr McGann had offloaded 29,000 shares on December 7.

The shares were sold at a price of €25.32. At that price, the shares were worth €734,135,

Mr McGann stepped down from the chief executive role at Smurfit Kappa in August. He was replaced by chief operations officer Tony Smurfit.

Mr McGann took home an estimated €7.2m last year in total compensation. That included more than €3m in share rewards.

Since quitting the top job, he has remained on the board as a non-executive director.

He is also chairman of construction giant Sisk Group, and gambling firm Paddy Power.

The Paddy Power job is likely to occupy much of his time for the weeks ahead. He is known to have played a key role in the proposed merger of Paddy Power with UK rival Betfair.

That deal will be put before shareholders of both companies for approval in a week's time. Mr McGann will be chairman of the new company if the merger goes through. Betfair chief executive Breon Corcoran will take the same job at the combined business.

Mr McGann was widely praised for his time at the helm of Smurfit Kappa. He took the top job in 2007 but was pitched into the financial crisis almost immediately. The shares fell to below €2 at one stage but closed on Friday at €23.25.

Mr McGann still owns shares worth close to €10m in Smurfit Kappa. After last week's sale he has retained 397,810 shares in the firm.

Last August he warned that the Government had to increase capital spending or we would become less competitive.

"For a country that is recovering well and has a good balance of payments, we've got to start investing in the future in areas such as education and infrastructure," he said.

Sunday Indo Business

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