Takare sacks co-founder: 'Had not adapted easily to formal management structures'

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BUOYANT 1993 results from Takare, the high dependency nursing home operator, were overshadowed yesterday by the dismissal of Dev Pritchard, managing director and co-founder of the company, after a boardroom clash over management style.

Driven by a 48 per cent rise in the number of beds in operation, Takare reported a 26 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to pounds 14.9m.

This was slightly ahead of the pounds 14.8m forecast at the time of its pounds 68m rights issue last September. A final dividend of 1.4p, in line with forecast, gives a total of 2.07p, up 20 per cent.

But Takare shares fell 8p to 266p amid concern over the fate of Mr Pritchard's 9.2 per cent shareholding in the company. Mr Pritchard, 53, was a co-founder in 1986 along with the chairman, Keith Bradshaw. They first became involved in nursing homes together in 1980.

Mr Bradshaw said yesterday that Mr Pritchard had not adapted easily to the more formal management structures introduced at Takare as the company had grown. The board, apart from Mr Pritchard, was unanimous that he should go.

'I feel very sad about it,' he added. 'Dev is a very high-minded, passionate entrepreneur but he would be the first to admit that he is not a consensus person.'

Mr Pritchard, who will remain as a non-executive director, is on a one-year rolling contract worth up to pounds 135,000 which Takare will honour.

Hamilton Anstead is stepping up from deputy managing director to take over Mr Pritchard's position while Ron Reid, finance director, takes on a larger role as group commercial and finance director.

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