Rebels aim to oust Chapelthorpe board

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The Independent Online
THE FUTURE of Chapelthorpe, the car fabric to umbrella frame maker, hung in the balance yesterday after it revealed that rebel shareholders want to break up the company and oust two-thirds of the board.

Brian Leckie, the chief executive, and John Standen, the chairman, are among four directors who will face demands to resign at an extraordinary general meeting called by two investment funds, Chapelthorpe said. Second Advance Value and JO Hambro's North Atlantic Value Fund, which control 10.8 per cent of the stock, want to sell off each of Chapelthorpe's divisions and return cash to shareholders.

In a trading update yesterday alerting shareholders to the EGM, Chapelthorpe warned its profits would miss market expectations. It blamed soaring raw material prices, which put pressure on its polypropylene making business, and an unexpectedly slow start to the year for its umbrella frames making division.

Under the rebels' proposals, the finance director Andy Weatherstone is the only executive director who would remain on the board. The rebels want to replace the ousted directors with four businessmen: Ian Duncan, Panos Loizou, Rory MacNamara and Charles Forshaw.

Shares in the company slipped 0.25p to 20.5p.