Ryanair shareholder calls for chairman's ouster



DUBLIN (Reuters) – Britain’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF), which represents funds that own a combined 1 percent of Ryanair, on Sunday said it planned to file resolutions at the company’s next annual general meeting to replace Chairman David Bonderman.

FILE PHOTO: A Ryanair airplane taxis past two parked aircraft at Weeze Airport, near the German-Dutch border, during a strike of Ryanair airline crews in Weeze, Germany, September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

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.

It 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.

“Ryanair shareholders recently passed all AGM resolutions by a large majority, including the nomination of directors and chairman,” a Ryanair spokesman said when asked to comment on the LAPFF’s plan.

“They appreciate how fortunate we are to have an outstanding Chairman like David Bonderman guide the board and the airline.”

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 and David Evans


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