Ewart attacked over 'irregular' statement

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The Independent Online
THE BATTLE for control of Ewart, the Belfast property company, intensified yesterday, with the dissident director Phil Monahan claiming that the board had met and issued a statement without notifying him.

Meanwhile, the company reported a 20 per cent fall in profits for the year to 30 April to pounds 201,000 on turnover that declined 75 per cent to pounds 3.7m.

Mr Monahan's company, Monarch, has a 29 per cent stake in Ewart, the value of which has halved since it was acquired in 1989.

On Wednesday night the company issued a statement that Ewart directors, bar one, intended to resist strongly the attempt by Mr Monahan to oust four directors at an extraordinary meeting.

Mr Monahan claimed that this announcement, made without convening the board, was 'most irregular'.

Barry Gilligan, Ewart's managing director, said the board had not held a meeting, and it was clear from the statement that it contained the views only of the directors other than Mr Monahan.

Monarch says it has the support of 45 per cent of the voting shares for its proposal to gain control.

But a spokesman for Ewart's advisers, Singer & Friedlander, said the company was confident it would persuade shareholders to vote the resolution down.

Ewart's shares rose 3p to 53p after the results announcement.