Rolls-Royce appoints activist investor to board

GMT 14:04 2016 Wednesday ,02 March

Arab Today, arab today Rolls-Royce appoints activist investor to board

Rolls-Royce is grappling with weak demand for corporate jet engines
London - AFP

Rolls-Royce has given its largest shareholder, US activist fund ValueAct Capital, a seat on its board as the British engine maker seeks to revive its fortunes, the group announced Wednesday.

Bradley Singer, a partner and chief operating officer at San Francisco-based investment fund ValueAct, will become a non-executive director "with immediate effect", Rolls announced in a statement.

The decision comes after Rolls held lengthy talks with ValueAct, which holds a 10.8-percent stake in the British firm.

"Bradley Singer has an outstanding record as a business leader," said Rolls-Royce chairman Ian Davis in the statement.

"He brings with him experience of public companies during periods of change, growth and significant financial outperformance, particularly in the US where Rolls-Royce has important business interests and a significant shareholder base."

The troubled British company, which makes engine systems for aircraft and sea vessels, has been slashing costs after issuing a string of profit warnings over the last two years.

Rolls-Royce is grappling with weak demand for corporate jet engines in emerging markets, weighing on its civil aerospace division.

At the same time, collapsing oil prices have also hit demand for vessels at its marine operations.

"I have been deeply impressed with the senior leadership team and directors of Rolls-Royce and their commitment to improving their operations to match the company's world-class product portfolio and engineering capabilities," added Singer.

"It is a privilege to be joining the board and I look forward to working closely with the board members and management team as they execute their plans for sustained long-term success."

Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East, who joined the firm in July 2015, said in a strategic review in November that he would slash costs by between £150 million and £200 million a year.

In early Wednesday afternoon deals, Rolls-Royce shares dipped almost 0.6 percent to 679 pence.


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