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Knight shows when it pays to say No

Financial Times: Mudlark: Knight shows when it pays to say No

“In the case of Shell, with a reputation to look after, it was inevitable that a face-saving solution would be found. It’s odd that Shell’s advisers, who were paid $115m (£64m), didn’t think of it earlier.”

Tuesday 20 Sept 2005

By Clay Harris

Published: September 20 2005

Angela Knight has been chief executive of the Association of Private Client Investment Managers since 1997, when she lost her seat as a Conservative MP and her ministerial role as economic secretary to the Treasury. Her victory on Tuesday on behalf of UK holders of Royal Dutch – although too late for those who had accepted the original offer – caps her highest-profile campaign.

Other of her causes have had broader impact. Knight returned on Tuesday from speaking at a Channel Islands conference about the impact of European regulation. But Shell was important to Knight because it epitomised the peripheral treatment of individual shareholders.

Hold-outs don’t always have such happy endings. Shareholders can be left with illiquid unlisted paper. In the case of Shell, with a reputation to look after, it was inevitable that a face-saving solution would be found. It’s odd that Shell’s advisers, who were paid $115m (£64m), didn’t think of it earlier.

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