Signs emblazoned with the Marconi logo at the entrance to the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre warned: ‘No mobile phones, cameras, PCs or recording devices beyond this point’. Given the proliferation of mobile phones these days, many hundreds of investors seem certain to be disappointed, confused and angered by the ‘security arrangements’.
Moreover, Marconi is clearly expecting a hostile reception: metal detectors and X-ray machines are in position – though they were notably absent when the Westminster venue hosted the ICAEW annual conference last month.
The agm comes as shares in the beleaguered company fell to their lowest levels for 20 years. Earlier this month Marconi issued a profits warning and said 4,000 jobs were to go worldwide.
Some of Marconi’s biggest shareholders are reported to be attending in person, rather than sending representatives as they often do, and have secured front row seats for the action. John Mayo, formerly finance director and deputy chief executive at Marconi, holds about 360,000 shares and is also rumoured to be attending.
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