Quarto on the attack over activist's move to oust founder


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The Independent Online

The publisher Quarto has attacked the activist investor that wants to oust its founder Laurence Orbach, warning the row was a distraction when the merger between book giants Penguin and Random House was throwing up opportunities across the industry.

Quarto said Harwood Capital, which represents about 19 per cent of the publisher's shares, was acting "against the interests of Quarto and its shareholders as a whole" in its attempt to replace Mr Orbach with Tim Chadwick, in a vote on 7 November.

"Chadwick, 66, has a limited and poor record of running publishing businesses and has not been involved in the industry for approximately 15 years," Quarto's board said.

Quarto pointed out Mr Orbach, its chairman and chief executive, has already agreed to give up the CEO's role in favour of the chief operating officer Marcus Leaver, 41, who joined from Barnes & Noble in March.