PROPERTY developer Minerva has called an emergency meeting to drum up support following demands for a boardroom shake-up from rebel investor KiFin, owned by billionaire Nathan Kirsh.
In the latest chapter of an extended power struggle at Minerva, KiFin has proposed the sacking of chairman Oliver Whitehead and chief executive Salmaan Hasan and called for more transparency on terms of its recent restructuring and profit share agreements.
KiFin plans to install London property veteran Philip Lewis as interim chief executive, along with former Investec boss Bradley Fried as a non-executive director, if the moves win shareholder approval at an emergency meeting on 8 September.
Minerva has hit back at the proposals, accusing leading shareholder KiFin of trying to take control of its activities without paying, after its 50p per share takeover bid collapsed earlier this year.
“It’s a pretence to say they don’t want to take control, given their actions over a period of time,” Whitehead told City A.M. “We have no problem with them taking over as long as they pay a proper price. By trying to install Lewis, they are trying to gain control without the hassle of a takeover.”
“Besides the demands set out, we have no idea what KiFin has planned for the company. They are just making mischief, putting out negative tittle-tattle,” Whitehead added.
Lewis called yesterday for Minerva’s other board members to get involved and calm the dispute.
“They have got three good non-executive directors who should be making an effort to find a solution to this problem,” Lewis said. “Kirsh is not seeking control of the company. We simply want management to understand the importance of full disclosure of the key financial information that we are requesting.”