Anger over corporate governance all talk as TalkTalk investors back management
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The anger expressed in the run-up to TalkTalk’s annual meeting over the broadband company’s corporate governance has not been reflected in voting patterns as investors backed the company’s management.
Shareholder advisory groups including Glass Lewis and Pirc had railed against the broadband company’s management, spearheaded by Charles Dunstone, due to complaints about the independence of the board and a placing in February when TalkTalk issued shares equivalent to a fifth of its stock without giving existing shareholders the right of first refusal.
Only 3 per cent of shareholders voted against the re-election of Sir Charles, the broadband company’s largest shareholder, as executive chairman at the company’s annual meeting in Salford this morning.
There were slightly larger votes against non-executive directors John Gildersleeve, who was previously chairman of Carphone Warehouse which spawned TalkTalk, and Roger Taylor, another long-term business partner of Sir Charles.
More than 14 per cent of shareholders voted against a resolution regarding the company’s right to allot shares.
TalkTalk said this week that it added 80,000 customers in the first quarter despite a modest retraction in its consumer base. That, alongside a reiteration of its profit outlook for the year, drove a 10 per cent rise in the shares.
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