Victoria Carpets chairman and director replaced

First published in News Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE bitter boardroom battle at Kidderminster’s Victoria Carpets has been won by challengers Alexander Anton and Geoff Wilding.

The former non-executive directors were voted back on to the board at an extraordinary general meeting yesterday in Birmingham.

Shareholders voted to remove chairman Katherine Innes Ker and director David Garman. Mr Anton, Mr Wilding and Andrew Harrison have been appointed directors of the company.

About 80 per cent of shareholders voted and each motion was passed by about two-thirds of the votes.

Victoria group managing director Alan Bullock had previously said he would resign from his position if Mr Anton’s group won at the second emergency meeting called this year.

Following the meeting, Victoria spokeswoman said Mr Bullock remained group managing director and would be making a comment on his future shortly.

Mr Bullock previously said he feared the new directors would try to set up an incentive scheme which, in order to implement, could see the company broken up. That could affect jobs in Kidderminster if they chose to sell the Worcester Road plant. The fears prompted 200 Kidderminster workers to petition a shareholder to vote in favour of the now-outgoing board.

Mr Anton and Mr Wilding have strongly denied jobs would be at risk and said any proposed incentive scheme would be put to a shareholder vote.

Before the meeting, Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier warned the company “may well end up with significant value sucked out” if the requisitioners won.

Mr Wilding, however, argued: “The best way to secure jobs is to have a profitable company. We have a plan to grow it and make it profitable.”

Following yesterday’s meeting, Ms Ker said: “The general meeting took place to uphold the principles of good corporate governance and shareholder democracy.

“Our campaign has ensured the new Victoria directors will be fully accountable for their actions and stewardship of the business to all shareholders.”

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