Saturday 16 December 2017

Landslide for Burrows at scandal-hit ENRC

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Former Bank of Ireland governor Richard Burrows was elected to the board of scandal-hit FTSE100 mining giant ENRC last week in a landslide vote, as a forecast investor revolt failed to materialise.

Burrows, who served as governor or chairman of Bank of Ireland during the property boom, received the highest vote of any directors up for election to the board, with over 99 per cent of investors backing his appointment.

Burrows was appointed to the board of ENRC last summer, but last week's annual general meeting was the first time his position was put to shareholders.

The former Pernod Ricard boss was brought in by ENRC as it sought to reverse a poor corporate governance record. The mining company, which was set up by three Kazakh obligarchs, was once described by a former director as being "more soviet than city".

The mining company has found itself embroiled in a series of scandals – all predating Burrows' arrival. The British Serious Fraud Office has launched a probe into the firm over allegations of corruption in its dealings in the Congo and Kazakhstan. The company has seen a number of high-profile departures from its board and corporate advisers' roster in recent weeks.

The revelations, coupled with a weak resources market, have seen ENRC's share price tumble over the last year. The company is now facing the prospect of a takeover from its three Kazakh founders, which could see it go private.

Burrows is also the €733,000-a-year chairman of cigarette firm British America tobacco, as well as serving on the boards of Carlsberg and rat poison firm Rentokil.

Irish Independent

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