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Shares fury at pounds 7m-a-yr chief Smurfit.

Byline: PAT FLANAGAN

TYCOON Michael Smurfit, who rakes in almost three times more a week than Irish soccer star Roy Keane, could be facing a pay cut.

Angry shareholders are to demand he has his wages of pounds 130,000 a week docked after the value of shares in his company bombed.

Senator Shane Ross, a stockbroker, said: "The directors are milking the company for millions while shareholders have been losing money.

"This is a bridge too far. This is the unacceptable face of capitalism."

He added: "The shareholders in Smurfit have had a miserable time for the last 10 years."

For the first time fund managers are breaking ranks to stand alongside small shareholders.

Irish Life Investment Managers intend to register a protest at today's AGM.

Their counterparts at the Allied Irish Bank are to vote against Mr Smurfit's wage bill, which comes to pounds 7million when pension and other perks are taken into account.

The Monaghan-based tycoon's huge salary came to light in the Jefferson Smurfit Group annual report which was published yesterday.

It is the first year the report has contained a full breakdown on what the firm's bosses are paid.

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UNDER FIRE: Smurfit
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 4, 2001
Words:199
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