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Money goes to money

We have already mentioned the good fortune of Brian Souter of Stagecoach but lo and behold The Herald reports he has added a further £6.4 million to his vast personal wealth after exercising share options in the Perth transport giant. Souter this week bought 4.36 million shares at between 27p and 85.75p apiece under options granted between 2002 and 2004. The exercise netted Souter a paper gain of £6.4m, this being the difference between what he paid for the shares - £2 million - and the value of that holding now, which is £8.4 million .

He recently pocketed more than £100 million when the company returned £700 million to shareholders, and was last week granted deferred bonuses worth nearly £800,000.

Souter retained the shares bought this week and now holds a 14.72% stake in Stagecoach worth £201 million. Souter's sister, fellow Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag, has an 11% stake in the company and pocketed more than £70 million from the recent return of cash to investors .

Souter and Gloa…

Stagecoach Returns

Brian Souter of Stagecoach pocketed another £100m recently following the company's decision to return cash to investors is on his way to making another £1m. Souter was yesterday granted deferred bonuses worth nearly £800,000 at last night's closing share price of 182.75p. Souter had been granted 141,526 deferred shares under the 2005 executive participation plan with a paper value of £260,000. He also got 294,129 "incentive units" under the firm's long-term incentive plan.

Another beneficiary of awards granted yesterday was Martin Griffiths, the finance director. He got 70,677 deferred shares under the EPP, notionally worth more than £129,000, plus a 199,170 LTIP units worth nearly £365,000. These awards also vest in 2010. Four other executives, including rail chief Ian Dobbs and Les Warneford, managing director of Stagecoach UK Bus, were granted deferred shares under the EPP plan. Dobbs got 42,710 and Warneford 39,501.

It rambles on

Further to an earlier post Lord Smith of Finsbury, the president of the Ramblers Association, has attacked the court decision to limit access to the countryside near Ann Gloag's home has indeed hit the nail on the head .

"Much of the land Mrs Gloag wants to fence off can't even be seen from the castle itself. This is more about privilege than it is about privacy...Even more disturbing is the reason Sheriff Fletcher gave for his decision. He said that it was because Mrs Gloag was wealthy and had a high profile that she was entitled to a higher degree of protection. This sounds to me very like one law for the rich and another for the poor..."

Mrs Gloag, who along with her brother Brian founded the Stagecoach bus company, is worth an estimated £395m .

Why should Lord Smith be so surprised . The law has always favoured the wealthy and the powerful . We at Socialist Courier don't expect that to change .

For Capitalists it is indeed private property

One of Scotland's richest women has won a landmark legal ruling to ban ramblers from entering the grounds of her Perthshire estate . Ann Gloag is the first private individual in Scotland to exempt her land from right-to-roam legislation.
In his judgment, Sheriff Fletcher said that the "nature of the building and its prominence" meant a larger section of surrounding land was required by Mrs Gloag to ensure her family's privacy and enjoyment of the house.

Stagecoach tycoon, Ann Gloag, who is worth an estimated £395 million , had already angered walkers by erecting a fence around Kinfauns Castle estate. Mrs Gloag was granted retrospective planning permission after erecting a fence around part of her estate.

"This gives a green light to landowners to go around the countryside erecting fences without planning permission." - Dave Morris , Ramblers Association Scotland