Accountants in for #12m windfall.

Two accountants at privatised rail company Prism are set to become multimillionaires in a #27m windfall after the sale of the five-year-old group to National Express for #158m.

Chief executive and management accountant Giles Fearnley and former chairman and chartered accountant Godfrey Burley are each due to receive more than #6m in cash and National Express shares from their 3.8% cut in Prism.

The deal gives National Express two London commuter franchises, c2c – the re-branded London Tilbury and Southend line, and the London to Stansted line. These will expand the turnover of its five existing rail franchises to more than #1bn.

Last month Prism was forced by the Strategic Rail Authority to off-load its loss making Cardiff Railways and Wales & West franchises together with Great Northern business of its WGN franchise.

Prism shareholders have 60 days to accept the offer.

Fearnley and Burley were among 10 original Prism founders from the bus industry who bought the Prism group for #2.3m before the company joined the alternative investment market at #26m.

This week corporate governance watchdogs feared a DTI climbdown on a pledge last year to allow shareholders to vote each year on directors’ pay, as Vodafone chief executive Chris Gent, who is due to earn 20 times his salary through share options, this week faced shareholders at an agm.

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