Johnston Press formally served with demand for boardroom shake-up by billionaire activist investor

Oliver Gill
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Johnston Press urged shareholders not to take any action at this time (Source: Getty)

Johnston Press's biggest shareholder has demanded former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond be appointed to the board of the owner of the i newspaper.

Norweigian billionaire Christen Ager-Hanssen, who owns 20 per cent of Johnston Press through his company Custos Group, yesterday wrote to the company calling for chair Camilla Rhodes and non-exec Michael Butterworth be removed by directors.

Custos said Alex Salmond and Steve Auckland should be appointed as non-executive directors of the company and requisitioned a general meeting of the Johnston Press' shareholders.

In the meantime, Johnston Press should not be allowed to appoint any new directors, Custos said.

Read more: Johnston Press under fire from shareholder seeking to oust its chair

In a short stock market announcement this morning, Johnston Press said it would update shareholders on the timing of a general meeting and it was consulting with its advisers over what to do next. The company urged shareholders not to take any action at this time.

The newspaper firm, which also publishes the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post, has been the object of Ager-Hanssen's attention for some time.

Last month, the owner of the Swedish version of the Metro newspaper, attempted a boardroom coup to appoint four directors of the board. This was blocked after debt agreements stipulated only existing board members can approve new director appointments.

Read more: Johnston Press share price rises though profits continue to decline

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