Jarvis targeted by share crusader

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MARTIN MOIR, the long-time campaigner for shareholders' rights, has discovered a new target.

On Friday he sent investors in Jarvis, a troubled building and property group, a letter asking them to sign over to him the power to vote against the company's management - in particular, the chairman, Harvey Bard.

Mr Moir has also appealed for support from Lord Hanson, as the Hanson pension funds control 7 per cent of the shares in Jarvis. Ironically, it was only a year ago he was calling for a shareholder committee to oversee the Hanson board.

Mr Moir's missive also omits to mention that he is in legal dispute with Globecastle, a private company owned by Mr Bard.

Yesterday Mr Bard said: 'We have received a number of calls from shareholders on this letter. It contains many factual inaccuracies, but Mr Moir is being sued by Globecastle, a company I have a personal interest in, so I regard the matter as sub judice.'

The substance of Mr Moir's criticism is that Jarvis has lost the proceeds of a pounds 2.4m rights issue of new shares.

In the letter he says: 'I must appeal to Mr Bard not to continue imposing himself upon us when his record over the last five years has been as appalling as it has.'

Mr Bard said: 'There are not many other construction companies that have done well in recent years. The recession has been long and deep, and we have had to lay off many people. This sort of nonsense does not help the situation.'

A Hanson spokesman said: 'Beyond being surprised that anyone should have sent this letter without first referring to Lord Hanson, I have no comment to make at this stage.'