Amigo founder calls vote in his at­tempt to re­turn as chief

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Michael O’Dwyer

AMIGO’S founder has called a share­holder vote in an au­da­cious at­tempt to force his re­turn to the high in­ter­est lender as chief ex­ec­u­tive.

James Be­n­amor said he was call­ing the vote af­ter fail­ing to agree “an ar­range­ment that is ac­cept­able both to share­hold­ers and the Amigo board”.

His pro­pos­als in­clude the re­moval of Amigo’s fi­nance boss Nayan Kis­nad­wala and in­terim chair­man Roger Lover­ing.

Mr Be­n­amor had sig­nalled on Mon­day that he would call a share­holder vote if the board failed to meet his de­mands.

Mr Be­n­amor said: “We are re­ly­ing on the over­whelm­ing sup­port I have re­ceived from pri­vate in­vestors and share­hold­ing mem­bers of the Amigo found­ing team to pass these res­o­lu­tions.

“The rise in share price last week, and the re­sult­ing re­duc­tion in share

‘We are re­ly­ing on the sup­port I have re­ceived from pri­vate in­vestors and share­hold­ing mem­bers’

price on Mon­day, demon­strates the way that in­vestors view Amigo with me, and with­out me.”

Mr Be­n­amor, who re­signed from the board for the sec­ond time in March, be­gan sell­ing off shares held by Rich­mond Group, his in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle, af­ter fail­ing to oust the board in a share­holder vote in June. His 61pc stake has fallen be­low 10pc and is likely to reach zero be­fore the vote is held, he said.

The self-con­fessed for­mer petty crim­i­nal be­lieves the firm has been mis­man­aged, caus­ing reg­u­la­tory scru­tiny and huge bills for cus­tomer com­plaints.

The founder pledged that if he wins the vote he will buy 29pc of the shares in the com­pany for up to 20p a share so that in­vestors who do not want him in charge can sell out “at a good profit”.

He also hit out at Glen Craw­ford, who is await­ing reg­u­la­tory clearance to re­turn as chief ex­ec­u­tive af­ter re­sign­ing last year due to health prob­lems.

Mr Be­n­amor said he wants Mr Craw­ford to run Amigo’s reg­u­lated busi­ness but is ask­ing share­hold­ers to re­move him from its par­ent com­pany, Amigo Hold­ings plc.

Mr Craw­ford told the board he is not pre­pared to work for the founder un­der any cir­cum­stances, Amigo said on Mon­day. Mr Be­n­amor said the state­ment was “per­son­ally hurt­ful”.

Amigo said it is con­sult­ing ad­vis­ers. It is due to give a trad­ing up­date to­day.

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