Monarch claims support of 50% in battle for Ewart

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The Independent Online
THE BATTLE for control of Ewart, the Northern Irish property company, intensified at the weekend, with both sides writing to shareholders ahead of an extraordinary meeting on 4 September, writes John Murray.

Monarch Properties, a Dublin-based private company, claimed to have the support of more than 50 per cent of voting shares for its attempt to unseat four directors and install its candidate as chief executive of Ewart.

The chairman of Monarch, Phil Monahan, is a non-executive director of Ewart, and Monarch has 29 per cent of the company.

In a circular to shareholders Ewart's chairman, Derek Tughan, claimed Monarch was heavily borrowed and accused it of trying to inject its own assets into Ewart to solve debt problems.

In his letter to shareholders, Mr Monahan said there was no future for Ewart as a company that concentrated exclusively on Northern Ireland, and proposed to take it into development in the Republic as well as Northern Ireland.

Barry Gilligan, Ewart's managing director, said Monarch had tried to gain control twice before, but had been rebuffed by the other directors. 'I will continue to act in the interests of all shareholders,' he said, adding that Mr Monahan had his own special interest to serve.