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Speedy Hire board rejects Toscafund moves to remove chairman

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THE board of Speedy Hire has rejected Toscafund attempts to force out its chairman as not in shareholders’ “best interests” and is urging investors to vote against the proposed resolutions.

In a statement the board said: “The independent board continues to believe that the resolutions are, in each case, not in the best interests of all shareholders and continues to unanimously and strongly recommend that shareholders “vote against both resolutions”.

Toscafund, founded in 2000 by Martin Hughes, wants to hold a special general meeting next week (7 September) to ask shareholders to vote to remove Speedy Hire chairman Jan Astrand and appoint David Shearer as a non-executive director.

But Speedy’s board said it supported Astrand and considered his role “appropriate”. The board also sent out a statement to shareholders in which it stated that its chairman had met with Shearer who said he was not able to commit immediately to Speedy “as he was assessing several other opportunities. As a result, David Shearer’s candidacy was not pursued”.

The board said in the statement that it was pleased with the company’s recovery, which was on track and that new appointments, including Robert Contreras as non-executive director, were working well.

Speedy’s board is made up of senior independent director Robert Contreras, non-executive director Robert Barclay, chief executive Russell Down and group FD Chris Morgan. All four board members signed today’s statement backing Astrand.

“The board was further strengthened by the appointment on 3 December 2015 of Chris Morgan as group finance director, first on an interim basis and confirmed as a permanent appointment on 31 March 2016,” the board said.

Before joining Speedy Morgan was group financial officer at Go Outdoors and Focus DIY. He has also held senior finance positions at Tesco, including group controller.

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