The Harry and Meghan royal news, in terms a corporate CEO can understand

“Other bets.”
“Other bets.”
Image: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via REUTERS
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The directors of House of Windsor plc (formerly House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha AG) note recent speculation in the media about a spin-off of its Sussex-based operations.

Discussions are at an early stage about the future of the division, which was officially formed in 2018. These are complicated issues that will take time to work through.

Traditions are important to the firm but in this fast-changing global economy we acknowledge the need to be nimble. This includes altering our corporate governance when necessary.

Take, for example, the creation of a non-executive role in 2017 for one of our longest-serving directors. Also, the more recent formation of a non-core division, more commonly known as a “bad bank,” to separate the underperforming York operations from the rest of the holding company.

We are considering ways to focus on our core competencies and generate synergies by simplifying reporting lines across the group. Our key business lines will remain extensive property holdings, broadcasting services, trade promotion, ribbon cutting, plaque unveiling, baby photography, and organic jams. For more information, please refer to our 2018-19 annual report and accounts.

Greater independence for the group’s Sussex-based operations is in keeping with the approach of other world-leading companies consolidating younger, more speculative units into dedicated divisions. The managers in Sussex have requested their own P&L—the firm is engaging underwriters to explore the feasibility of this within the group’s unique public-private partnership structure. Legal advisors are also engaged in discussions about a proposal for a Sussex HQ2 in North America.

The firm values unity, stability, and shareholder value. Our executive succession plans should give stakeholders clarity and predictability about the group’s core business now and in the future. Our Wales and Cambridge divisions continue to operate as normal.

The directors request that the markets rely only on official parchments going forward for information about the company’s strategic plans. An analyst call will be scheduled in due course, with participants invited to the Buckingham Palace courtyard to receive proclamations from the balcony.

There will be no Q&A. It has not been a great quarter.

January 9, 2020 | House of Windsor plc

By: /s/ Elizabeth R
Name: HRH Elizabeth II
Title: Queen