1H 2015 RD:IR Proxy Round-Up

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The UK M&A market saw an upturn in 2014 and this positive momentum continued into the beginning of 2015. RD:IR in turn began the year by carrying out two M&A proxy solicitation campaigns, the first for Salamander Energy plc and the second for Friends Life Group Ltd.

Salamander Energy plc, a FTSE 250 Asia-focused oil exploration company, reached an agreement to be acquired by Ophir Energy plc in an all share deal in November 2014, to be effected by a Court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement. The scheme required the approval of Salamander shareholders at both a court meeting and a general meeting in February. Our campaign to Salamander institutional investors helped ensure the successful passing of all resolutions at both meetings, with a large majority of 95% of Salamander shareholders voting in favour of the takeover.

Continuing the M&A trend, Aviva plc agreed to buy Friends Life Group Ltd in December 2014 in an all-share deal between the two FTSE 100 companies. The deal, worth £5.6bn, created the largest UK insurance deal since 2000.

RD:IR conducted a proxy solicitation campaign to Friends Life institutional shareholders to ensure maximum voting. This resulted in more than 99.9% of Friends Life shareholders voting at the general meeting to support the deal, which overwhelmingly passed the 75% threshold required for the two companies to combine.

During the AGM proxy season RD:IR was pleased to provide proxy and corporate governance services to a number of clients, among them: Tullow Oil plc, bwin.party digital entertainment plc and Faroe Petroleum plc.  

If you wish to enquire further about our shareholder communication services please contact Yolande Lundy (Proxy Research Manager) on yolande.lundy@rdir.com / +44 20 7492 0527

RD:IR competes in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge 2015

A 15-strong RD:IR team entered the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge on Wednesday 8th July 2015.

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There were near perfect conditions for the 5.6k run around Battersea Park and the planned strike action did little to affect the event or atmosphere. Each team member completed the race in a respectable time, with Peter Challis leading the charge for the boys with a time of 24.58 and Tom O’Grady a close second with 26.13. Sarah McKenzie (former RD:IR employee, now RD:IR client via Britvic plc) led for the girls, completing the course in a speedy 28.33.

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The turnout was fantastic, with over 14,000 runners participating on the evening and hundreds of Corporates represented. 

A full report of the event can be found on the event website here.

Post-event, J.P. Morgan will make a donation on behalf of all entrants to their chosen charity this year, Age UK.

RD:IR continued their fundraising for Save the Children and raised a total of £280 in sponsorship money.

IR Magazine Awards – Europe 2015

The evening of Tuesday 30th June saw the annual ‘IR Magazine Awards – Europe’ take place at The Troxy in London’s East End. Hosted by broadcaster and journalist Jeremy Vine, the event attracted the cream of IR teams from across Europe.

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Each year the Awards are designed to celebrate the successes of individuals and companies that are leading the way in the IR community. The ‘Categories’ and ‘Best in Sector’ awards pit IR teams and individuals on a pan-European level and additionally, ‘Regional’ awards are available for companies which are deemed to have shone that year in their respective regions. The winners are identified by research collected from the investment community in the six months leading up to the event by IR Magazine.

The big winner on the night was Danish multinational pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk, whose IR team picked up the grand prix for best overall investor relations (large cap), in addition to best financial reporting, best sustainability practice, best in sector for healthcare and the regional award for Northern Europe. 

Several of RD:IR’s clients were shortlisted for awards and we were thrilled when the IR team at BT Group plc won the sector award for Technology and Communications. 

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Pictured here: BT’s Damien Maltarp & Evelyne Bull with RD:IR’s Senior IR Consultant Philippe Ronceau

A full list of winners can be found on the IR Magazine website here.