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Sky TV slimmed-down board seeks 27% hike to directors' fees

Sky TV's slimmed-down board seeks 27% hike to directors' fee pool

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 23 (BusinessDesk) - Sky Network Television, the country's dominant pay-TV operator, will ask shareholders to lift the pool of directors' fees 27 percent for a slimmed-down board, saying it needs to pay more to attract and retain quality members.

Shareholders will vote on whether to lift the pool to $900,000 from the current $750,000, according to the Auckland-based company's note of annual meeting, to be held on Oct. 21. Sky TV will have five independent directors after the meeting when Humphrey Rolleston and Robert Bryden retire, and is in the process of recruiting at least one other non-executive director.

"The increase is being sought to provide the company with greater flexibility and ability to attract and retain high quality directors in an increasingly complex and competitive market," the notice said. "The company has also taken advice from Ernst & Young on current market levels for director fees and notes that the existing pool of $750,000 would be breached if director fees for six non-executive directors were increased to the current market median level."

The company reinvigorated its board in 2013, appointing Snakk Media founder Derek Handley and former SAP executive Geraldine McBride to beef up the board’s experience in mobile and software.

Sky TV paid $619,000 in directors fees to its seven non-executive members in the year ended June 30, up from $606,000 to the same number a year earlier, according to its financial statements.

In 2010, the pay-TV company lifted its pool for directors' fees to $750,000 from $500,000, which was set in 2005.

The company's shares fell 1.4 percent to $4.79, and have dropped 20 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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