GMB welcome Clive Lewis MP raising Britvic closing costs issue in Parliament
GMB welcome Norwich MP raising the issue of the "one off costs" of closing the Britvic site in Norwich with the stock exchange and in parliament
This is a clear indication that Britvic have failed to meaningfully consult with our members in Norwich, says GMB London
GMB, the union for staff at the Britvic factory in Norwich, have welcomed MP for Norwich South, Clive Lewis’ promise to raise the issue of the “one off costs” announced as part of the closure of the Norwich operations. The announcement led to a drop in the company share price in the immediate days after.
In a letter to Britvic Chief Executive, Simon Litherland, Mr Lewis questioned whether the costs of closing the factory had been included in the proposal submitted to the board in charge with closing the Norwich site. [See notes to editors for full copy of the letter from Clive Lewis MP to Britvic Chief Executive, Simon Litherland]
Ivan Mercer, GMB Regional Officer said:
“This is a clear indication that Britvic have failed to meaningfully consult with our members in Norwich.
“Not only have we not had full disclosure of information to allow us to enter a counter proposal to the closure, but once this on cost was announced it caused a fall in share price that had a detrimental effect on the value of shares owned by our members.
“Thanks to Clive Lewis for highlighting this in Parliament.”
Contact: Ivan Mercer 07713 077 194 or GMB Press Office 07970 114 762
Notes to Editors
Letter from Clive Lewis MP to Britvic Chief Executive, Simon Litherland (12 March 2018)
I am writing in relation to the recent Britvic announcement regarding “one off costs” associated with the closure of the Norwich operations.
I attended the AGM as a proxy for a Britvic shareholder and am concerned that the announcement regarding the costs associated with closure may have contributed to the precipitous drop in the Company share price in the immediate days after, which has also had significant impact on many members of the workforce who are also shareholders.
The timing of the announcement has also raised a number of questions relating to the consultation process undertaken by the Company.
Can you please explain whether this figure was included in the proposal submitted to the Board to close the Norwich site?
If not, how can the Board have made a decision to close the site without a fully costed proposal?
If this figure was shared with the Board why did the Company not share it with the Market, specifically in November when the preliminary results were published?
At the presentation to analysts you appear to indicate no negative consequences would arise from the potential closure; ‘From a financial perspective, we remain on track to achieve our previously stated guidance subject to consultation at Norwich.’
Also I’d like to understand how it is possible to have a “meaningful consultation” with your Norwich workforce when this figure was not shared with them during the consultation process?
If it wasn’t known during the consultation process how were Britvic management in a position to determine whether the alternative proposals submitted by the consultation group were unviable?
I will also be raising this matter in Parliament, directly with the Britvic Independent Directors and with the London Stock Exchange to determine whether there has been a breach of rules requiring disclosure of information.
I look forward to your timely response.
Labour MP for Norwich South