Acquisitor wins battle to control Baltimore

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The Independent Online

The long-running battle for control of Baltimore, the former internet star which has now become a cash shell, ended in victory yesterday for its largest shareholder Acquisitor.

The long-running battle for control of Baltimore, the former internet star which has now become a cash shell, ended in victory yesterday for its largest shareholder Acquisitor.

The Bermuda-based fund succeeded in removing the Baltimore board, led by its chairman Bijan Khezri, and installing its own directors.

Duncan Soukup, the deputy chairman of Acquisitor, has become Baltimore's acting chief executive, while David Buchler, the vice-chairman of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, becomes chairman.

Mr Khezri and his fellow board members were ousted after Acquisitor built up a 26 per cent stake in Baltimore and used its shareholding to vote them out at a second extraordinary meeting.

Mr Khezri was defeated by 15.5 million votes to 9.8 million on a 65 per cent turnout of shareholders. Baltimore pointed out, however, that 90 per cent of independent shareholders had voted in favour of retaining the current board.

Baltimore abandoned plans last month to turn itself into a green energy supplier and parted company with David Weaver, the former BP executive brought in to mastermind the transformation.

Mr Soukup said it had not decided what to do with the company and its £24m cash pile, adding it would take months to complete a detailed review of Baltimore's true financial position. He added: "We wouldn't have worked as hard as we have just to dissolve the company because that would destroy value, not create it."

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