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Speedy Hire and Rottweiler set for shareholder showdown on Friday

Oliver Gill
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The Rottweiler has laid out what it wants in an open letter to shareholders (Source: Getty)

The very public dispute between shareholder and boardroom will come to a head this week as Speedy Hire's shareholders vote on proposals by activist investor Toscafund.

Speedy Hire's largest shareholder – whose founder Martin Hughes is known by many as the Rottweiler – has called a general meeting, scheduled for this Friday, for shareholders to vote on two key motions.

Read more: Toscafund is determined to have the last word in spat with Speedy Hire

The first is a vote to remove chairman Jan Astrand.

"Toscafund believes that Jan Astrand has been indecisive as a business leader, failed to support Speedy Hire's executive management fully and failed to consult with shareholders regarding key board appointments," it said.

The appointment of turnaround specialist David Shearer is the second motion.

"Toscafund considers that David will be able to add significant value to the board as it oversees Speedy Hire’s organic turnaround plan, and also has the requisite experience to examine any suitable consolidation prospect," it said.

This motion for Astrand's resignation was originally requested by Toscafund on 27 June 2016 and was withdrawn after Astrand agreed to meet with Shearer.

Speedy Hire has responded to the requests by stating the Astrand's position is temporary and the appointment of Shearer to the board would not be independent.

"In a meeting with Robert Contreras on 6 July 2016, David Shearer made it clear that he would only consider joining the board if Jan Astrand resigned and he, David Shearer, was appointed chairman," said Speedy Hire.

The latest response from Toscafund in the war of words was that Shearer was independent of Toscafund and had not worked with it for at least 12 months.

Read more: Speedy Hire set for another rottweiler attack from activist investor

It was reported in the Sunday Telegraph that Schroders – a 10 per cent shareholder of Speedy Hire – would also support the motions proposed by Toscafund.

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