SECOND OPINION: Alex Sandberg is chief executive of financial specialist agency College Hill Associates

Isn't opportunism two-sided? On the one hand, well done to Grandfield for morphing the Londis Shareholders Action Group (LSAG) into a fee. And on the other? Four directors of a 'mutual' grocer who appear to have nearly made it over the wall clutching fat bags of veg - 20 million quid's worth.

But never fear, the PR man's here: enter ex-Maitland man Adrian Costain.

Selling the glorious spectacle of 2,000 shopkeepers hot on the heels of directors doing a runner with half the proceeds of the sale of the company didn't need much packaging. But credit has to be given for the noise. The campaign was also effective in dragging the directors back to reality: Londis is owned by members, not the board.

The net result? Sufficient volume to embarrass the board into appointing KPMG to oversee a review; prospective purchaser Musgrave retiring from the hunt; and the grocers live to fight another day. However, the board remains all but intact and is now reviewing offers. What is not clear is what the owners of the company actually want or whether they will be listened to. Or whether there's much left for external PR.

Well-orchestrated shareholders have clout: 'behind the scenes' is how institutional shareholders say they prefer to do dirty work. But Michael Green and Sir Ian Prosser were assassinated on stage, fully lit.

So who are these big shareholders accountable to? Well, you and me, and we pay them handsomely to 'manage' our pension funds, which underperform.

And what do we do about it? Now there's a thought: an action group. I sense a fee coming on.

Creativity: 3 / Delivery: 4.5.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in