Speedy Hire chairman Jan Astrand survives Toscafund's attempts to oust him as investors vote in his favour

William Turvill and Caitlin Morrison
Toscafund chief executive Martin Hughes has the nickname Rottweiler (Source: Getty)

Speedy Hire shareholders have voted to appoint David Shearer to the board and to keep Jan Astrand as chairman at its annual general meeting (AGM).

Over 63 per cent of shareholders voted against the resolution to remove Astrand, with 35.56 per cent voting in favour of the resolution.

Meanwhile, 52.84 per cent of the equipment rental firm's investors voted to appoint turnaround specialist Shearer on to the board.

The meeting was forced by Speedy’s biggest shareholder, activist investor Toscafund, which is unhappy with the way the business has been run.

Toscafund said in a statement that it welcomed the decision to appoint Shearer.

Shareholders have sent a clear message that they require an improvement in Speedy Hire’s corporate governance. David Shearer will provide Speedy Hire with the necessary independent non-executive experience to help guide the company’s turnaround and rebuild shareholder value.

Toscafund plans to remain a fully engaged shareholder in Speedy Hire, and looks forward to working with a revitalised board in order to rebuild the company’s fortunes and help it to realise its full potential.

Toscafund, whose chief executive Martin Hughes has earned the nickname Rottweiler in the City, holds more than 19 per cent of shares and was understood to have the backing of Schroders, which holds 10 per cent.

Shareholders advisory groups Pirc, Glass Lewis and ISS recommended investors approve Shearer’s appointment but vote against Astrand’s ousting.