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Hutchings in battle to get back at Lupus

Greg Hutchings, the former Tomkins boss who was ousted from Lupus Capital in July, yesterday ramped up his very public battle to regain control of the group.<br /><br />Hutchings has requisitioned an extraordinary general meeting calling for the removal of chairman Michael Jackson, turnaround specialist Keith Taylor and finance director Paul Felton-Smith and his own reinstatement at the helm of the group.<br /><br />In a direct attack on the current board Hutchings has also set up his own website &ldquo;Working for Lupus Shareholders&rdquo;, aimed at harnessing shareholder support. Hutchings is believed to have already won the support from Walbrook Trustees and Alliance Trust Pensions.<br /><br />Hutchings, who has an 11 per cent stake in the company and has invested &pound;9m into the firm, argues that he was unfairly ousted from the group.<br /><br />Lupus Capital, which manufactures door and window locks, suffered the full force of the&nbsp; downturn &ndash; triggering a loan default and expensive debt renegotiations.<br /><br />But Hutchings believes this was the result of recessionary movements, rather than his handling of the business. In the company&rsquo;s annual report, after his departure, the board lauded Hutchings as having done &ldquo;a cracking job.&rdquo;<br /><br />Lupus recently said its operations had stabilised following management actions, capital structure was adequate and a number of its operations were beginning to reflect the benefits of the actions taken. <br /><br />Hutchings has been involved in board controversy before. He was removed from Tomkins board in 2003 after a row over his expenses relating to his use of corporate helicopters and claims his wife and housekeeper were on the payroll. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing.