July 17, 2012 / 11:20 AM / in 7 years

Major shareholder backs embattled G4S CEO

LONDON (Reuters) - The second largest shareholder in under-fire security group G4S (GFS.L) gave its full backing to Chief Executive Nick Buckles on Tuesday, saying he had been let down by local staff and should not have to resign over the London Olympic contract failure.

Shares in G4S have slumped 15 percent in the last week since it admitted it could not deliver a promised 10,400 Olympic security guards, at the cost of up to 50 million pounds ($78.09 million) to the firm.

Invesco’s (IVZ.N) investment manager Neil Woodford told Reuters in an interview he was annoyed by the debacle but said one contract failure should not damage the group’s overall reputation.

“It is my view that the interest of shareholders are best served by keeping Nick Buckles in this business because his track record is excellent,” he told Reuters on Tuesday.

“I don’t want to throw all of that away on the back of this failure of local management to deliver one contract, one of literally thousands and thousands of contracts that this company has around the world.”

Woodford added that he had not discussed his stance with other significant shareholders.

Reporting by Neil Maidment, editing by Kate Holton

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