The bitter boardroom battle at one of the region’s best known companies has left just one director in post after its annual general meeting.
Victoria Carpets’ managing director Alan Bullock and the managing director of the Australian division Barry Poynter as well as non-executive directors David Garman and Roger Hoyle were all removed by shareholders at the meeting last Friday.
The Kidderminster company has been locked in a boardroom battle for months with the latest dispute surrounding plans which would see Alexander Anton - the grandson of the founder - and others receive a “substantial share” of returns made to shareholders, which Mr Bullock had described as “morally indefensible”.
However, the cull means the Mr Anton and two other non-executives Sir Bryan Nicholson and Geoff Wilding - could now get re-elected at a special general meeting in October that would see them take control of the business and eventually sell-off parts of the group.
Board chairman Katherine Innes Ker said in a statement: “This year’s AGM is unusual in that there has been a significant amount of disruption at board level, leading to the resignations of the former non-executive directors.
“In recent weeks significant differences arose between the former non-executive directors and the rest of the board in relation to an incentive scheme which they had proposed for themselves. Their scheme incentivised them to break up the business within two years and would pay them 50 per cent of any value created after shareholders had received a fairly low threshold of £3 per share.
“This means that shareholders would have paid them as much as 25 per cent of the value that already exists in your company. The former non-executive directors would have received such extraordinary rewards simply for being on the board at the time of the sale, rather than for creating any additional value.”
She said that on legal advice an alternative scheme was suggested but was rejected after which the three men resigned and that ultimately, the issue had become so divisive that the board no longer operated effectively.
The three non-executive directors will now use the general meeting in October to seek reinstatement after shareholders rejected plans to keep the current board.