Logistics giant Wincanton faces fresh investor unrest

Logistics firm Wincanton faces growing shareholder unrest after a major investor reiterated calls for a break-up and accused bosses of ­being overpaid.

In a letter to chairman Stewart Oades, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, Gatemore repeated proposals to offload parts of the business.

The fund, which owns a 2pc stake of the company, 
argues that Wincanton, Britain’s largest logistics operator, is really two different businesses with little natural fit: one that delivers retail parcels and groceries, and another that supplies goods containers for the construction sector.

A sale of either division would raise cash that could be pumped into Wincanton’s pension scheme and boost its share price to around 425p, Gatemore claims. Its shares trade at 260p, valuing it at £320m.

The fund is also pushing for a shake-up of executive salaries that would link pay more closely to performance. Wincanton’s boss Adrian Colman earns two and a half times that of outgoing Royal Mail boss, Gatemore said.

The demand comes days after a fifth of shareholders voted against Wincanton’s remuneration policy. Wincanton has a 3,600-strong fleet of vehicles with an 18,000 person workforce. It dismissed the criticism over pay saying it was focused on shareholder value, both debt and the pension deficit are declining, and earnings per share is increasing.

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