IAN Martin yesterday resigned as deputy chairman of Grand Metropolitan

to start up the Glenisla Group. The group, with resources of $2000m,

will exploit undervalued business opportunities in the UK and western


He is backed by the privately-owned Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company

investment house.

Mr Martin, 58, was educated at Harris Academy in Dundee and is a

graduate of St Andrews. His first job was with Timex in Dundee in 1962.

He lost a power battle last year against George Bull to become chief

executive of the spirits-to-burgers group. From the beginning of October

he served as a non-executive director.

In 1988, he masterminded the acquisition of the US-based Pillsbury

Company. That brought Green Giant vegetables, baking dough and, perhaps

most important, the Burger King chain into GrandMet.

He lived for five years in America and is well versed in US business

practices which will be valuable in dealing with KKR.

Mr Martin said yesterday that he ''had more gas in the tank'' than

doing the non-executive director round.

He is already a director of House of Fraser, which is coming to the

market shortly, of Granada, and of the US insurance giant, the St Paul


With the KKR financial muscle behind him, he will lead a small group

of specialists to investigate potential situations. Managers in the

acquired companies will have a substantial slice of the equity.

Unlike many conventional venture capitalists, he may establish a major

presence in an industry or perhaps acquisitions.

The Glenisla name reflects his love of salmon fishing in the River