BAE shareholders claim management pushed EADS merger for big pay day

Posted on 23 Oct 2012

Roger Lawson, chairman at individual investors society ShareSoc, has led calls for members of the board at BAE Systems to resign following the collapse of the potential EADS merger.

He says that the potential merger and its following collapse has damaged the company’s reputation and left investors, customers and governments wondering whether it is a European or US focused company.

ShareSoc will oppose the re-election of chairman Dick Olver and chief executive Ian King at the next Annual General Meeting if they do not resign now.

ShareSoc chairman Roger Lawson claimed that the merger was “a classic case of empire building by corporate management and there may have been financial incentives for the management to pursue this proposal.”

It was reported that shares owned by would crystalise if the merger took place, resulting in an £18m windfall.

Lawson was reluctant to suggest who should replace Dick Olver and Ian King, but told The Manufacturer the individuals “should come from outside” the company as the current board “were not wise people.”

“The company needs to decide if it is a UK company looking to the US or to Europe and not lead everyone down a blind alley,” he said.

He explained that the company should look for a merger with a US defence or aerospace company or break up its various divisions so that it finds it easier to do business in either the US or Europe following the confusion that now exists as to the direction of the company.