28 Sep 2011

Shareholders Association questions $3m payout

9:39 pm on 28 September 2011

The Shareholders Association is questioning a multi-million dollar payout made to PGG Wrightson's former managing director Tim Miles.

Mr Miles left suddenly in October last year, and in its annual report, PGG Wrightson reveals his remuneration included a $3 million termination payout.

He was paid $4.3 million in total including a base salary of $615,000, a short-term incentive of $703,000 and a $3 million golden handshake.

His three-year tenure coincided with the international downturn and global financial crisis, which hit PGG Wrightson particularly hard because it built up a huge debt mountain pursuing its expansion plans.

These included a $250 million recapitalisation of the company that saw it acquiring a new major shareholder, China-based Agria, which now owns half the company.

Shareholders Association's chairman John Hawkins says Mr Miles was paid quite well for a company that was going downhill, and shareholders have paid the price.

The company's performance has continued to suffer and it lost nearly $31 million last year.

PGG Wrightson shares lost about 60% during Mr Miles time as managing director.