Independent News & Media shareholders are set to vote Cork-born businessman Leslie Buckley back onto the group’s board on Monday.
Mr Buckley — chairman and co-owner of international online recruitment specialist Saongroup — became the first director of a high-profile Irish plc to be voted off a board, when he was ousted at INM’s 2011 AGM, cutting Denis O’Brien’s board-level representation.
Things at INM have changed dramatically in the 14 months since, with Mr O’Brien cementing his dominant shareholder position by increasing his stake to 29.9%, financier Dermot Desmond increasing his influence, and the O’Reilly family involvement being heavily diluted, with Gavin O’Reilly being replaced as chief executive by Vincent Crowley.
Mr O’Brien’s growing control of INM lessens the surprise of the return to the board of his close ally, Mr Buckley. Mr O’Brien’s powerful stakeholding also suggests Mr Buckley should have no problem in receiving the requisite level of shareholder backing.
Monday’s EGM in Dublin’s Conrad Hotel is for INM shareholders to vote on four proposed new board appointees. Besides Mr Buckley, they are: Triona Mullane; former KPMG managing partner Jerome Kennedy; and Belfast Harbour Commissioners chair Len O’Hagan.
INM’s board temporarily slipped below the minimum five members in the aftermath of a raft of votings-off and resignations following its June AGM. Since that meeting, the group has added Telegraph Media Group director Allan Marshall and Clear Channel Ireland managing director Terry Buckley.
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