Sunday 17 December 2017

Dissident shareholder in legal action against IL&P over board role

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

DISSIDENT shareholder Piotr Skoczylas and 15 other Irish Life & Permanent investors have launched a legal action to force the bancassurer to allow the hedge fund boss onto their board.

The challenge comes seven months after Mr Skoczylas was voted onto the IL&P board by shareholders last summer.

In an affidavit he claims he has not yet been allowed to take his seat, first because of the "unusually long time" the Central Bank spent deliberating over his application and then because of an "apparent act of sabotage" by IL&P.

Mr Skoczylas said he was approved by the Central Bank on December 22, but was told he needed to undergo training before he joined the board. He then cites extensive correspondence with IL&P company secretary Ciaran Long over that training.

Urgent

He claims Mr Long repeatedly failed to respond to emails over January, and then suggested that training should be deferred until a group of six people could be assembled.

"I reiterated that the matter was urgent and submitted the fact that ILPH (Irish Life & Permanent Holding Group) was organising simple training for more than six weeks at that point plainly amounted to stalling and procrastinating in an apparent effort to sabotage my board appointment," Mr Skoczylas said.

A spokesman for IL&P declined to comment. Mr Skoczylas wants the court to force IL&P to "fully install him" on their board by March 1 and to pay €4,000 for his training course.

Mr Skoczylas was also involved in a shareholder challenge to the legality of IL&P's €2.7bn bailout.

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 March.

Irish Independent

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