Menzies appoints dealmaker Baines to board

Dealmaker Paul Baines has joined Menzies board

Edinburgh-based airport logistics and news distribution company John Menzies — under shareholder pressure to split into two companies — has appointed corporate dealmaker Paul Baines as a non-executive director.

Menzies said Baines — who holds senior roles with China-based investment bank Vermilion and corporate finance firm Smith Square Partners — will join the Menzies board on June 1.

“I am pleased that Paul has agreed to join the board,” said Iain Napier, chairman of John Menzies.

“With his extensive City experience he adds a further dimension to the skill set of the board.

“I have no doubt that he will make a valuable contribution as we continue to follow our strategic agenda.”

Menzies said Baines has had a stellar career in the London’s financial district as chief executive, corporate finance, at Charterhouse Bank followed by roles as chief executive and executive chairman at Hawkpoint Partners.

“During this time he led the transformation of Hawkpoint into a high quality independent advisory business with a significant international presence,” said Menzies.

“He has also advised on many high profile corporate transactions.”

Menzies’ chief executive Jeremy Stafford resigned in January 2016 for personal reasons after 15 months in the job.

Then Forsyth Black was appointed managing director of Menzies Aviation and joined the board, and Mark Cassie was appointed interim managing director of Menzies Distribution.

Menzies has been under pressure to split in two from some shareholders who believe its aviation services and distribution divisions would be worth more as separate businesses.

Last week, Menzies said its reported pre-tax profit fell to £18.2 million in 2015 from £25.7 million the year before amid this turbulent period for the firm.

However, turnover in 2015 was £1.99 billion, roughly the same as 2014, and the company will pay a dividend of 16.8p per share compared to 16.2p in 2014. Earnings per share fell to 16.5p from 22.7p.

“We continue to evaluate the optimum structure for the group to potentially further enhance shareholder value,” said Napier last week.

The company also said last week it will continue to look for acquisitions.