Independent News & Media (IN&M) AGM was held yesterday and I knew there would be fireworks as the bold Senator Shane Ross castigated the board over the massive loss of shareholders investment in the past 3 years. The shares have fallen from a peak of €3.87 in June 2007 to a dismal €0.115 today – that’s a drop of 97%!
In terms of shareholder losses, IN&M has managed to outdo AIB & BOI – now that took some doing. So after the roasting Shane Ross gave the top table at AIB & BOI shareholder meetings, I knew the IN&M board was in for a torrid time.
Imagine my surprise when I watched the tv news last night and read the papers this morning. Not a word of ructions at the IN&M AGM – I wonder was Senator Ross even at the meeting?
Actually, this will come as no surprise to anyone who has watched Ross’s populist antics over the years. He’s fearless attacking Eircom, the banks, the toll on the M50 etc., but he’s never published or uttered a critical word about any of his employer’s business ventures, many of which have failed to sparkle. IN&M is only the latest dud – Waterford Wedgewood was a complete disaster, not least for the workers who lost not only their jobs but their pension entitlements too. Fitzwilton was a long-standing walking wounded until someone finally put it out of its public listing misery. Various ventures into oil and mining have also left investors nursing significant losses.
I look forward to seeing what’s in the Sunday Indo (Ross is the “business editor” – now that’s a laugh) about the performance of IN&M. Doubtless it will be glowing praise and optimism for the efforts of the board, now led by O’Reilly junior.
Time to reprise, again, my favourite Shane Ross joke:
Trinity College has outdone Ancient Rome because it's only a myth that Caligula made his horse a Roman Consul but it's a fact that Trinity College has made a senator out of a complete horse's arse.
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