Friday 20 October 2017

Over 27pc of UTV investors revolt against chief's pay

UTV boss John McCann
UTV boss John McCann
Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Listed media group UTV suffered a major investor revolt against executive pay at its AGM last week, when over 27 per cent of shareholders in the broadcaster voted against the remuneration package of chief executive John McCann and his management team. A large block of shareholders also withheld their vote

McCann was paid over €993,000 last year including a €376,000 bonus from his long-term incentive plan. He also received close to €1.8m to settle pension entitlements.

This was "in line with the agreed terms of the unfunded arrangement, the full entitlement under this arrangement was settled as a cash payment," according to UTV.

"This option achieved the lowest economic cost for the Group. Accordingly, he received a gross pre-tax lump sum payment of £1,446,184."

"We are pleased that all of the resolutions put to the meeting yesterday were passed including a significant majority on director's remuneration report," according to a UTV spokeswoman.

"We are always mindful of any shareholder concerns and welcome their feedback. We have a well-defined process in place whereby our chairman or senior independent director follows up on such matters."

The company declined to identify which shareholders had voted against the executive pay. Shane Reihill's TVC Holdings and Peter Crowley's FL Partners are big shareholders in UTV.

Two years ago UTV chairman John McGuckian was removed in a boardroom coup prompted by his relationship with TVC. McGuckian was a director of TVC, which then owned an 18 per cent stake in the firm.

UTV's share price has almost doubled over the last year as the economy recovers. Last week, investors heard that the €290m valued media group experienced "encouraging" market conditions.

UTV is planning to launch a new TV station in Ireland early next year as it bids to take on TV3. Last week, it unveiled a distinctly underwhelming list of long-running programmes for its upcoming schedule including Love your Garden, Midsomer Murders, Undeniable and the ninth series of Foyle's War.

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