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Tue November 12 2019

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Breedon founder cashes in £16m on retirement

29 May Peter Tom CBE, the former Leicester Tigers lock who founded Aggregate Industries in the 1990s, sold it to Holcim in 1997 and then set up Breedon Group 10 years later, retires today on the approach of his 80th birthday.

Peter Tom
Peter Tom

Peter Tom is stepping down from the board of construction materials supplier Breedon and selling half of his shares in the business (1.3% of the issued share capital), worth approximately £16m. He is still keeping 21.5 million shares, however, accounting for a further 1.3% of the company.

His successor as chairman is Amit Bhatia, the 40-year-old chairman of football club Queens Park Rangers and son-in-law of Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. Amit Bhatia has been a director of Breedon since its 2016 acquisition of Hope Construction Materials, which Mr Bhatia helped set up three years previously.

The Mittal family invested £272m to set up Hope in 2013 by acquiring assets that Lafarge and Tarmac were required to sell for their merger to go ahead. Amit Bhatia was executive chairman of Hope. Breedon paid £336m for Hope in 2016.

Amit Bhatia now becomes non-executive chairman as of today, having been deputy chairman since April 2018.

Mr Bhatia already owns 17.78% of Breedon through Abicad Holding Ltd. He has committed to buy at least 10 million of the shares that Peter Tom is selling, at a price of 72.0 pence each, and is offering to buy all 22 million at the same price.

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Peter Tom said: "I am delighted that the board has chosen Amit as my successor. With many years of relevant commercial and board experience, I am confident that he will successfully lead Breedon's board to deliver further sustainable value for our stakeholders, as the group continues to develop and grow.

"I leave Breedon in great shape and am incredibly proud of what we have achieved since we created the company in 2010.  I have the highest regard for [chief executive] Pat Ward and the senior management team and I would also like to express my deep gratitude to all of my colleagues who have contributed so much to Breedon's success."

Amit Bhatia said: "It is a huge privilege to be asked to lead the board of Breedon.  I joined the company three years ago through its transformational acquisition of Hope and I am more excited than ever to be playing my part in the group's ongoing development.

"Peter was one of the principal architects of the group.  He helped conceive a highly successful growth strategy and leaves behind a world-class management team under Pat Ward's leadership.  I would like to thank him on behalf of the business for his tremendous contribution during his time at Breedon and we wish him the very best for the future."

Peter Tom has not completely retired, however; he remains executive chairman of Leicester Tigers.

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