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Boardroom struggle at Darwen smartmeter manufacturer
A COMPANY chief at the middle of a boardroom power struggle said if an attempt to remove him was unsuccessful he would push for the removal of two other board members.
Bglobal shareholders Forest Nominees Ltd have summoned all shareholders to a meeting in a bid to oust executive chairman Peter Kennedy.
But the boss of the Darwen smart-meter manufacturer, which employs 150 people, has countered, saying if the attempt fails, he will propose to remove chief executive Tim Jackson-Smith and non-executive director James Newman. He will also propose the appointment of a new independent non-executive chairman, with himself moving to the role of non-executive director.
Forest Nominees, which owns 9.79 per cent of the company’s shares, has called the meeting next Thursday in a bid to have John Heathcote Grant, a director of capital investment firm Hawkwood LLP, appointed as new chairman.
In a letter to shareholders, Mr Kennedy, who owns 23.66 per cent of the company’s shares, said: “Shareholders with whom I have spoken are supportive of my strategy for growth and have indicated that they will be voting against all the resolutions proposed at the General Meeting.
“As well as supporting my strategic plan, many shareholders and employees share my concerns about the proposal that John Heathcoat Grant is appointed as chairman. No details of Mr Grant’s experience and qualifications to be chairman have so far been provided.
“I am proposing that if the resolutions are defeated and I am given a continuing mandate to play an active role in the development of the business, I will immediately recommend the removal of Tim Jackson-Smith and James Newman.”
Mr Kennedy said John Polatch, of ICL Fujitsu, a leading Japanese information and communication technology company, had already agreed to step in as non-executive chairman.
Bglobal has been hit by the Government delaying the national roll-out of smartmeters across the UK, and has spent the past 12 months amending its business strategy accordingly, shifting the focus from manufacturing to providing software and services.