Regina shareholders support deposed boss

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DIVISIONS at Regina, the Royal Jelly company, widened yesterday when the deposed chairman Shiraz Malik-Noor and two of his associates were voted back on the board by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting.

He is now expected to try to regain the chair from Paul Geoghegan, who was instrumental in forcing Mr Malik-Noor off the board last month. After yesterday's vote the board held a meeting, and a statement is due today or tomorrow.

Mr Malik-Noor has called for another meeting for next week, but last night refused to say whether it would go ahead. Shareholders voted by 60.1 million to 54.2 million in favour of his re-election. Guy Neely and Cecil Philips were also elected by similar margins.

Mr Malik-Noor and his family trust own 25 per cent of Regina. The company said institutional and many private shareholders voted against the re-elections. But Mr Malik-Noor won the support of associates who bought shares during last year's refinancing.

The power struggle for Regina was often personal, with Mr Malik-Noor accused of wasting money by sending Major Ronald Ferguson to the US on a polo promotion, and of using company funds for a family holiday. Mr Malik-Noor claimed his adversaries were trying to vote themselves unjustifiable salaries.

In March Mr Geoghegan and Tony Shakesby, finance director, removed him from the board. Shares yesterday rose 1 4 p to 31 4 p.