BAE board members under pressure following EADS merger collapse

Laura Kuenssberg

Former Business Editor

The BAE / EADS merger deal was called off on October 10th. Credit: PA

It has not taken long since the collapse of the proposed mega-merger between BAE Systems and the Franco-German aviation company EADS for the BAE board to be put under pressure.

Several major investors have reportedly written to the board demanding answers, and this morning ShareSoc, which represents the ordinary shareholder, has called for the chief executive Ian King and the Chairman Dick Olver to stand down.

The merits of the deal had split shareholders already, concerned about returns on their investments.

But the collapse of the negotiations has put an altogether more intense level of pressure on to the most senior figures at the top of our biggest manufacturer.

  • UPDATE** BAE has sent me this statement:

The Board of BAE Systems remains fully supportive of its Directors. The Company maintains an on-going dialogue with all of its stakeholders on matters of strategy, governance and performance. The Company is aware that a minority of its institutional investors have recently made public their own views on board succession planning, which differ widely from those of the board and the majority of the company's principal shareholders. The company intends to continue with its established succession plans described in its last Annual Report, including the appointment of a successor to Dick Olver as Chairman following an appropriate process to identify the best candidates.