The UK-based transport and energy Stobart Group has sacked former CEO Andrew Tinkler as a director, raising the ante in a boardroom bust-up that will see a showdown at the company’s annual general meeting next month.
Stobart, whose aviation unit operates the Aer Lingus Regional service on a franchise basis, confirmed it has terminated Mr Tinkler’s employment.
“The company announces that, following the receipt of comprehensive legal advice, it has today served notice on Andrew Tinkler, summarily terminating his employment with the Stobart Group”, it noted in the statement, adding that the termination was effective immediately.
“The company will also be issuing legal proceedings imminently against Mr Tinkler for, amongst other things, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty,” the statement added. Stobart said it will write to shareholders shortly to provide them with further information “including its concerns that Mr Tinkler and his associates are attempting to secure control of the company”.
Mr Tinkler, who owns 7.7pc of Stobart Group, is leading an assault on the company’s chairman, Iain Ferguson. He and other shareholders hope to oust the incumbent at the upcoming annual general meeting. In a statement he said Mr Ferguson and the company’s CEO Warwick Brady were “attempting to deny shareholders the right to determine the leadership of the Board”.
Mr Tinkler has mustered support from shareholders including Woodford Investment Management, owned by fund manager Neil Woodford, which owns 20pc.
Mr Brady said: “Mr Tinkler’s actions, particularly in recent days, have threatened to destabilise the company and severely impacted my ability and that of my team to manage the business on a day-to-day basis”.