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Stelios Haji-Ioannou opposes easyHotel's remuneration report

The founder of the Easy group of companies, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, used his 49% stake in easyHotel, to vote against the company’s directors’ remuneration report leading to a majority opposing the resolution to approve the report at its recent AGM. Votes on the other resolutions were withheld.

Haji-Ioannou is the largest shareholder in the Aim-listed company. A statement from easyGroup, his private investment vehicle, said it would be using its 30,625,000 shares to oppose the remuneration resolution – in what is an advisory vote – “to register its concern over the proposed cost plan associated with the execution of the company’s strategy.”

easyGroup said it supported easyHotel’s strategy to grow the business through the opening of a combination of owned and franchised hotels but that should be based on a low cost model to deliver continued profits. Using current predictions easyGroup said that shareholders faced a situation in Financial Year (FY) 2017 whereby revenue would have grown three times since FY 2013 (the last full year the company was privately held) but costs would have increased almost four times and net profit would have been halved as a consequence.

Following the release of the AGM voting results easyHotel noted the statement by the easyGroup. The company stated that ,”The Board takes the views, interests and concerns of all of its shareholders, particularly the founder and majority shareholder of the business, very seriously. Moreover, in accordance with best practice, the Board maintains and welcomes a regular, constructive dialogue with all of its shareholders to ensure it fully understands their views and long term strategic objectives so the Company’s strategy is properly aligned. Whilst it seeks consensus, the Board of easyHotel recognises that from time to time there may be differences over the approach to the implementation of the agreed strategy.”

easyHotel’s annual report and accounts for the year ending 30th September 2015 show that Guy Parsons, appointed chief executive in August 2015 was paid a total of £33,465 for two months work, while chief financial officer, Marc Vieilledent, who was appointed in May last year was paid 100,026, including a £35,000 cash bonus on his appointment. Total director remuneration costs had risen from £195,721 in the year ending 30th September 2014 to £652,443 in 2015.

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