Tuesday 23 May 2017

Judge puts brakes on rebel IL&P shareholder

Tim Healy and Laura Noonan

DISSIDENT Irish Life & Permanent shareholder Piotr Skoczylas has lost his bid to force the plc to speed up his appointment to the board, after a High Court judge said the appointment had not been unduly delayed.

But it wasn't all bad news for Malta-based hedge fund boss Mr Skoczylas after IL&P agreed that he could attend board meetings and speak at them until his appointment was completed.

He won't be able to vote until he goes through a special course on Irish retail banking, training which he is now due to begin in April.

Mr Skoczylas was voted onto the board of IL&P last July, after shareholders weighed in behind his campaign to challenge the direction the plc was taking after the results of last year's banking stress tests

He told the court that he had been kept off the board because there were "people who don't want me to become director as I will have access to information". He was approved by the Central Bank on December 22, and said directors were normally installed within days of that approval.

Mr Skoczylas and 16 other members of Irish Life and Permanent Group Holdings brought the case seeking an enforcing injunction that he be fully installed as a non-executive director by March 1, 2012.

They also asked the court to ensure that the company paid €4,000 for training.

In refusing the application, Mr Justice Roderick Murphy said the court was not satisfied the delays in arranging the special training had been inordinate.

Mr Skoczylas is also involved in a shareholder challenge to the legality of IL&P's forced €2.7bn bailout and near-nationalisation.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has claimed Mr Skoczylas and one of his fellow litigants do not have standing to bring their case.

Mr Justice Kevin Feeney is expected to rule in early March.

Irish Independent

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