CSL moves on after class action
Blood plasma giant CSL is to meet shareholders this week, fresh from agreeing to pay $US64 million to settle a class action lawsuit in the United States.
Despite describing the case as lacking merit, CSL recently brought to an end a four-year court battle that revolved around allegations the company conspired with its major competitor in the US, Baxter International, to push up the prices of life-saving blood plasma from as long ago as the 1990s.
CSL said last week the settlement would force a $US39 million one-off charge to its fiscal 2014 full-year results, but not move its profit guidance.
The Australian Shareholders' Association has recommended CSL shareholders vote in favour of five proposals under consideration at this Wednesday's annual meeting, the first under new chief executive Paul Perreault.
Ian Renard, who has been a director since 1998, will resign from from the board and John Akehurst and Marie McDonald will seek re-election.
Shareholders will also be asked to approve granting up to 25,000 performance rights to Mr Perreault for 12 months and benefits to departed CEO Brian McNamee.
Dr McNamee received total remuneration of $19.6 million in fiscal 2013, including a $2.9 million termination payment and $7.75 million in performance rights.
The ASA said "it would seem that Dr McNamee should receive all his accrued and pro rata entitlements, subject to vesting hurdles, and an extra year of base salary represents about 4 per cent for each of the 24 years in which he has been managing director".