Spotlight On... Alexander Anton, Victoria Carpets

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The Independent Online

I've not seen this chap before?

That's hardly surprising as he has swept his public profile under the carpet for most of his career.

Come again?

It's Alexander Anton, the former chairman of Victoria Carpets and the great-grandson of one of the carpet maker's founding partners.

Doesn't the manufacturer have royal connections?

Yes, the Kidderminster-based company made the red carpet for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Why is Mr Anton in the news?

Rebel shareholders, such as New Fortress Finance, want to see him re-elected at an extraordinary general meeting today, with former director Geoff Wilding.

Doesn't sound harmonious?

You are not kidding. The rebels have called for the meeting as they also want to boot off the board chairman Katherine Innes Ker and non-executive David Garman. This follows a war of words over the group's strategy and executive incentive scheme.

Blood on the carpet, then?

Indeed. Mr Wilding yesterday said Victoria Carpets' performance has been "dire" recently.

Battles in the boardroom?

Yes. Mr Anton and Mr Wilding quit as directors in August after the board refused to support their proposed incentive scheme. This was partly because other directors felt it would encourage the break-up and sale of the 117-year-old company.

What about Victoria Carpets' recent trading?

It said this week that trading conditions in the UK and Ireland have "remained extremely tough during the first half".

And what's Mr Anton's carpet pedigree?

He was Victoria Carpets' chairman from 2007 and 2010, as well as his non-executive stint.

Anything else?

Mr Anton is married with two children and lives in Oxford. He is passionate about tennis, and led the purchase of the Queen's Club by members from the Lawn Tennis Association in 2006.