Imry board tries to oust Stolzenberg as chairman

THE MYSTERIOUS financier Wolfgang Stolzenberg is coming under increasing pressure to relinquish the chairmanship of Imry, the private property group.

Barclays Bank, which is owed pounds 440m by Imry, is understood to be working closely with other members of the board to secure Mr Stolzenberg's departure.

Among the options under discussion is a management buyout with Mr Stolzenberg releasing his shares in the company. The negotiations are being led directly by Andrew Buxton, Barclays' chief executive and chairman designate, and Martin Myers, Imry's founder and managing director.

Two months ago, Mr Stolzenberg's Canada-based Castor Holdings collapsed with debts of Cdollars 1.8bn (pounds 800m). Dozens of banks, institutions and wealthy individuals across Europe and North America, including the giant Chrysler Canada pension fund, had loaned money to Castor, which then invested in a maze of businesses around the world.

Since then creditors and financial investigators have been trying to unravel his empire. Barclays and Imry's management are concerned that unless they act soon, the company may be dragged down with Castor.

Last year, the slump in the UK commercial property market saw Barclays double its exposure to the company by granting a pounds 200m loan, and the seizure of control by Mr Stolzenberg. His co-investors were bought out for a fraction of their original investment.

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