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Compass comes under fire for proposed SSP payout

10 January 2006

Compass Group has been attacked for a planned £727,500 payout to its travel concession boss Andrew Lynch.

SSP chief executive Lynch will pocket £200,000 for overseeing the sale of the division and a further £527,000 depending on the price achieved.

The payments will come on top of his annual salary of £581,000.

According to a report in the Telegraph, one of the company's largest shareholders said it was an example of the company "rewarding failure".

It follows large payouts in 2005 to chairman Francis MacKay and chief executive Mike Bailey after a 54% fall in profits.

Compass spokesman Paul Kelly rejected the claim. "When a division is put up for sale it can be difficult if staff become demotivated. This type of incentive is not unusual and you have to remember that we're talking about a business with a turnover of £1.6b."

But one City source contacted by Caterer said: "It's a bit rich. He's getting this extra money just for doing his job. It may motivate him to get a good deal, but it could demotivate the people further below him."

Analysts expect the SSP sale to raise between £1.1b and £1.3b for Compass. TerraFirma, Elior and Autogrill have been mentioned as possible suitors for the division.

by Tom Bill

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