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Board hires industry veteran

Smurfit takes chair at logistics firm Menzies

Dermot Smurfit websiteDermot Smurfit has been appointed chairman of John Menzies and will lead the group’s response to calls for a break up.

Dr Smurfit is currently chairman of Powerflute and ML Capital and is a non-executive director of Timber Capital and The Forest Company.

He has had an extensive executive career holding a number of positions within the Jefferson Smurfit Group and was latterly deputy chairman and world vice president of sales and marketing.

Dermot Jenkinson who was appointed interim chairman following the retirement of Iain Napier in May will continue as a non-executive director.

He said: “The obvious qualities that Dr Smurfit possesses and his availability to assume the chairman responsibilities immediately meant I was happy to recommend his appointment. I am confident that Dr Smurfit will be a great asset to the group.”

Dr Smurfit said: “I am honoured and proud to have been appointed chairman of John Menzies which is an exceptionally strong brand highly trusted by its customers and look forward to assisting the group in achieving significant growth in the coming years.”

The call for a break-up came earlier this month from a fund advised by German company Shareholder Value Management which holds a 7% stake in Edinburgh-based Menzies. A Swiss investor Lakestreet Capital Partners made a similar demand.

Menzies, which is due to announce its half-year results on 20 August, said in May that advisers were looking at a possible restructuring. The call for a break-up comes despite shares in the group rising 36% in the first half of the year.

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