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Ryanair shareholder calls for chairman's ouster

Ryanair shareholder calls for chairman's ouster
FILE PHOTO: A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 plane taxis at Lisbon's airport, Portugal September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File Photo   -   Copyright  Rafael Marchante(Reuters)
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DUBLIN (Reuters) – Britain’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, which represents funds that owned a combined 1 percent of Ryanair, on Sunday announced it planned to file resolutions at the company’s next annual general meeting to replace Chairman David Bonderman.

The group, which opposed Bonderman’s re-election at last month’s AGM, said it would lobby fellow shareholders to join it to secure the 3 percent of shares required to file a shareholder resolution at the next meeting, due in September 2019.

The group also plans to file a resolution demanding that succession plans for chief executive Michael O’Leary be set out.

“On the day of Ryanair’s first-half results (Oct. 22) Mr O’Leary said Mr Bonderman intends to remain in place for one or two more years and that the company would set out succession plans for Mr O’Leary in the next two or three years,” the LAPFF said in a statement.

“Shareholders have made it clear they expect action quicker than this.”

The group said it believed recent staffing and industrial relations issues at Ryanair might have been handled better with a more independent board. O’Leary has defended the performance of Bonderman and the board in recent months.

The LAPFF said its concerns had been heightened by a profit warning on Oct. 1. when Ryanair cut its forecast for full-year profit by 12 percent citing damage to bookings from strikes.

The LAPFF was one of several shareholders to voice concerns at Ryanair’s AGM in September, when Bonderman, was re-elected with 70.5 percent of votes, a significant fall from the 89 percent he received the previous year.

Bonderman, the founder of private equity firm TPG Capital who has chaired Ryanair since 1996, resigned from the board of Uber in 2017 after an ill-judged joke that more women on the board means “more talking”.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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