Hoskins chiefs may be voted off board

THE BIZARRE manoeuvrings at Hoskins Brewery, the USM-quoted pub company, took another twist yesterday when Richard Holman, an independent shareholder, requisitioned a special shareholder meeting to remove the incumbent management.

Mr Holman said Barrie and Robert Hoar, the brothers who lead the company, have 'failed to reward shareholders in any way'. As well as requesting their ejection from the board, Mr Holman will also ask shareholders to make him a director.

Mr Holman owns about 8 per cent of Hoskins but he said that he had promises of support from holders of more than 40 per cent of the shares.

If he is successful in his attempt to get on the board Mr Holman said he would appoint replacements for the Hoar brothers.

Mr Holman represents a third force at work at Hoskins. Last month the dissident director and MP for Dover, David Shaw, scuppered a bid for the company by Adam Page, the former chairman of Midsummer Leisure. Mr Shaw had complained that shareholders had not been given sufficient financial information about Mr Page's takeover approach.

However, Mr Holman is not allied to Mr Shaw. He said Mr Shaw, as a director, had to share blame for the poor financial performance of Hoskins in recent years.

Mr Holman first drew up plans to call for the departure of the Hoar brothers in February but he held back because he expected Mr Page to take control of the company.

He said that he had requested the shareholder meeting now because he thought Mr Page would not make a second attempt to buy Hoskins. However, Mr Page said: 'There is still a deal to be done and I am still keen to do a deal.'

Trading in Hoskins shares has been suspended since 27 May at 56p.