Shareholders approve new Assura chairman

Warrington-based healthcare company Assura Group has continued its drive to become more focused on the property side of its business by appointing Quintain non-executive director Simon Laffin as non-executive chairman.

Assura, which has a portfolio of GP surgeries and PCT centres with a net asset value of £220m as of 31 March 2011, held its annual general meeting on Thursday.

All resolutions were passed, among them the confirmation of Simon Laffin as chairman with immediate effect.

Laffin replaces Rodney Baker-Bates, who said in April he wanted to step down when a replacement was found.

Laffin is currently a non-executive director of marketing communications firm, Aegis Group, and property company Quintain Estates & Development, an advisor to private equity business CVC Capital Partners and chairman of garden watering equipment maker Hozelock Group.

Previously, he has served as non-executive chairman of pub group Mitchells & Butlers and as a director of Northern Rock, as part of the rescue team. Between 1995 and 2004 he was group finance officer of Safeway, latterly also responsible for property.

Laffin commented: "Having divested its non-core businesses, Assura is now at an exciting time in its development, able to concentrate solely on its medical property interests. I look forward to working with the board to continue the current improvement in performance and to realise further value."

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