Morgan Stanley unveils Canary Wharf board changes

Canary Wharf has announced sweeping board changes that will see six non-executive directors replaced with four representatives of Songbird, the Morgan Stanley-led consortium that recently acquired the company.

The departing non-executives are Sir John Carter, Christopher Jonas, Michael Price, Gerald Rothman, Robert Speirs and Andrew Tisch.

The new executives are John Carrafiell and Stephane Theuriau of Morgan Stanley, Shmuel Levinson, an associate of Canary Wharf shareholder Simon Glick, and Alex Midgen of Rothschild, which is also part of the consortium.

Sir Martin Jacomb will stay on as Chairman for now, and Morgan Stanley has said it will retain Chief Executive, George Iacobescu, and Finance Director, Peter Anderson.

Paul Reichmann, the former Canary Wharf Chairman who backed Brascan’s failed rival offer for the company, resigned from the board last Friday.

Brascan yesterday revealed that it had increased its stake in Canary Wharf to 19.57%. It has now bought more than 10% of Canary Wharf shares in the past 10 days, although analysts are uncertain of its strategy.

Brascan and its ally, Reichmann, now control over 25% of Canary Wharf and there has been speculation that they may try to derail Morgan Stanley’s plans to restructure the group’s finances.

Reichmann and Brascan are not able to mount another bid for Canary Wharf. They also have a legal undertaking not to sell shares to Morgan Stanley at least until the end of this year.
Source: Freeman / Financial Times

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