Family feud at Barr & Wallace Arnold

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A FAMILY feud has broken out at Barr & Wallace Arnold Trust, the cars-to-travel group, after two brothers, who are key shareholders, sought the removal of directors, writes Russell Hotten.

The bid to oust the chief executive and finance director has been rejected by the brothers' uncle, the BWAT chairman, Malcolm Barr.

An extraordinary meeting is being convened at which BWAT's family shareholders will vote on resolutions that will determine the future shape of the company. About 29 per cent of the company is owned by the brothers, Nicholas and Robert Barr, and their family trusts. Malcolm Barr and his family trusts own 16 per cent. Other investors include Scottish Amicable and Bank of Scotland Unit Trust.

BWAT's chief executive, John Parker, and the finance director, Brian Small, were appointed earlier this year. They had previously rescued Kosset carpets from the ruins of the Coloroll collapse.

The brothers want to replace them with Helmut Schweimler, a German businessman. They want to enfranchise the 'A' shares, and run BWAT's leisure and motor businesses as separate operations.