GPG names new non-executive chairman of Coats

Guinness Peat Group has named a former chief executive of BAA as non-executive chairman of Coats Plc as the broken up investment company focuses on its remaining big asset.

Mike Clasper is currently a non-executive director of ITV and is a former chief executive of BAA and former senior executive of Procter & Gamble. He takes up the Coats role on Sept. 1.

The UK investment company developed by Ron Brierley has been wound down under the chairmanship of Rob Campbell and GPG is to be renamed Coats, reflecting its big remaining asset.

"The timing of this appointment coincides with the near completion of the GPG asset disposal programme and simplification of the investment activity of the group," Campbell said.

"While the previously announced UK Pension Regulator review has impacted and will continue to impact on completing the transition, further progress is being made to reduce costs and simplify GPG's structure."

Clasper said Coats has strong market positions and there are good opportunities for profitable growth.

"I am looking forward to working with the board and management as the business makes the transition to being a standalone listed company."

Shares of Guinness peat last traded at 54 cents and have fallen 9 percent this year.