19 July 2012
MECOM GROUP PLC
STRATEGIC REVIEW AND BOARD CHANGE
The Board of Mecom Group plc ("Mecom" or the "Group") notes recent press speculation concerning a strategic review and the position of the Group's Chief Executive Officer, Tom Toumazis.
The Board can confirm that it will be conducting a strategic review to examine all options for maximising shareholder value, including, potentially, further disposals. This decision was made unanimously by the Board following an internal review of the Group's businesses. This review, led and recommended by Mr Toumazis, was precipitated by current trading conditions, notwithstanding the fact that the Group remains on course to deliver its modernisation and cost reduction plans.
As a consequence of this decision, the strength of the divisional management teams and the diminished need for central leadership within the Group, the Board has agreed with Mr Toumazis that he will step down from his position as Chief Executive Officer in September. Until then and as part of the transition he will assist Stephen Davidson, who will resume his previous role as Executive Chairman, in setting up the strategic review and in other matters. Mr Toumazis will not be replaced as Group Chief Executive Officer.
Further announcements will be made as and when appropriate. The Group is announcing its interim financial results, which will be in line with market expectations, on 25th July.
Commenting, Tom Toumazis, said:
"When I agreed to join the company in May last year, Mecom was a larger and different group to what it is today. We had only just received an approach from Gremi to acquire Presspublica and approaches to acquire Edda were still some way off. Both of these businesses have subsequently been sold, at very attractive valuations.
All three of our remaining divisions are run by highly experienced executive teams and the Board and I have concluded that, particularly in light of the strategic review we are announcing today, the divisions will require much less central leadership than would normally be provided by a Group Chief Executive.
Despite the trading conditions in which we have operated since I joined Mecom, I am confident that I am leaving the Group well positioned to meet its future challenges, with a wide range of revenue and cost initiatives which we announced in our strategy presentation in January and have put in place over the last few months. I have been greatly impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of people across all our divisions. I wish all of my colleagues, with whom I have thoroughly enjoyed working, the very best for the future and thank them for their support and hard work."
Stephen Davidson, Executive Chairman, said:
"Today's announcement of a review of Mecom's options is a logical step for the Company in light of the significant recent changes in the operating environment. We regret that a consequence of it is that we will be parting company with Tom, who has been a hugely inspirational leader in his time with Mecom. I and the rest of the Board acknowledge his considerable contribution to Mecom and he leaves with our thanks and very best wishes. In reaching our agreement, I am particularly grateful to Tom for having waived certain elements of his contract to which he would otherwise be entitled in this situation."
Stephen Davidson, Executive Chairman +44 207 925 7200
Tom Toumazis, Chief Executive Officer
Henry Davies, Group Finance Director
Ben Foster +44 203 603 5220