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Briscoe wants to hike directors' fees

NZN 5/04/2016 Paul McBeth

Briscoe Group, the retailer controlled by managing director Rod Duke, wants shareholders to approve a $100,000 bump to the pool for directors' fees, giving it the flexibility to add another member to the board.

The retailer's 3,487 shareholders will vote on May 19 in Auckland on whether to increase the pool for directors' fee to $380,000 from $280,000, according to its notice of the meeting.

Briscoe last lifted directors' pay in 2013, when it added $95,000 to the then $185,000 pool which it used to add another board member.

"The board has determined this increase to be appropriate having regard to a number of matters including skills and expertise required of directors, the level of fees paid to directors of New Zealand based organisations of a similar size to the company, and the potential for a change in the composition of the board, including potentially another non-executive director in addition to replacing Stuart Johnstone," it said.

Briscoe's non-executive directors Stuart Johnstone, Mary Devine and chair Roseanne Meo were paid an aggregate $274,000 in 2016, up from $218,000 a year earlier.

Executive directors Rod Duke and Alaister Wall were paid salaries of $972,000 and $465,000 respectively, which was separate to the fee pool.

Duke owns about 78 per cent of Briscoe, which delivered him dividends of $24.6 million in the 2016 financial year.

Briscoe mounted an unsuccessful takeover bid for outdoor equipment chain Kathmandu Holdings in the year, offering 20 cents cash and five of its own shares for every nine Kathmandu shares, amounting to an implied $1.80 offer. That ultimately fell by the wayside, though Duke has said he's still open to progressing it in the future, with Briscoe holding 19.99 per cent of Kathmandu.

Briscoe shares recently traded at $3 and have gained 4.5 per cent this year, while Kathmandu shares were recently at $1.70.

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