Book firm Quarto slams rebel investors over coup attempt

BOOK publisher Quarto hit out at a group of shareholders aiming to oust current chief executive Laurence Orbach yesterday, as it set the date for a showdown that will decide the future of the company.

A rebellion by two shareholders that own 20 per cent of Quarto between them and are represented by Harwood Capital’s Christopher Mills, aims to remove Orbach and replace him with industry veteran Tim Chadwick.

Quarto’s board called Chadwick “opportunistic” and said his actions were “de-stabilising”. In announcing the 7 November shareholder vote, the board said it “will not allow itself to represent the interests of a minority faction, nor allow any form of control by stealth”.

Chadwick told City A.M. yesterday that he has the backing of “40 to 50 per cent of shareholders who want someone on the board who understands them”. He also criticised current boss Orbach, saying he had “eroded shareholder value, spending around 150 per cent of the company’s value on acquisitions”. Quarto shares rose over four per cent yesterday.