One51 chief under pressure

DISSIDENT shareholders in One51 have stepped up the pressure on beleaguered chief executive Philip Lynch ahead of the AGM at the end of the month.

Former senior executive Gerry Killen told RTÉ radio his group, Campaign for Change at One51, wanted a plan of action and condemned the corporate strategy within the group as “scattergun”.

He said One51 had gone “badly off-track” and he is seeking support from other disillusioned shareholders in an attempt to get elected to the board at the AGM on July 28, for which he is seeking proxies.

He wants to get the group better focused and his ambition is to see the group deliver a clear plan of action that includes exiting activities not core to the business, including stakes in other companies, such as ICG, owners of Irish Ferries and the financial services group IFG.

One51 also holds a substantial 25% stake in the former toll road group NTR, now heavily involved producing biofuel in the United States.

Disaffected shareholders have sent a letter to all shareholders ahead of the company’s AGM asking for support.

Mr Killen’s group placed advertisements in newspapers highly critical of the management and leadership of the company.

It is also claiming there has been “a lack of financial transparency” since the group was founded.

One51’s executive directors were paid €2.69 million last year, down from €3.24m in 2008, according to the annual report.

Excluding fees paid to non executives, directors were paid almost €4m, including pension contributions and share-based payments. This was shared mainly between five directors. One51 does not disclose individual director’s remuneration.

The €4m included a €320,000 in severance pay about which the group has refused to comment.

One51 emerged out of IAWS Co-op, which also spawned IAWS Plc, which is now part of the Zurich based Aryzta.

Mr Lynch set up One51 after achieving considerable success with IAWS plc.

Mr Killen told RTÉ his group had proposed a clear plan of action, with an exit from activities which were not core to the business, including its stakes in other companies, and a focus on green technology.

He said One51 had gone ‘badly off-track’. Mr Killen is asking for support from shareholders to be elected to the board at the company’s AGM later this month.

He said there had been discussions with management, and his group would have preferred to move ‘below the radar’, but management at the company appeared to have decided there was no need for change.

Mr Killen is the former managing director of One 51’s Oxigen Environmental.


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