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Bullock hits out as non-execs go

vcboardGeneral meeting to elect consortium's nominees to go ahead.

Alan Bullock, Victoria Carpets group md has hit out at the Alexander Anton/New Fortress Finance lead consortium for continuing to keep the majority of shareholders 'in the dark'. He made his comments as the group's two non-executive directors resigned ahead of the general meeting at which shareholders would vote on their presence on the board.

A count of the proxy votes showed that the consortium will succeed in replacing Nikki Beckett and Peter Jensen with its four nominees – and gain control of the board – unless shareholders attend the meeting and change their minds.

'As a board and business we have lost two such talented and experienced independent directors enabling the [consortium] to gain control of theboard without still telling the vast majority of shareholders their real strategy for the business,' says Bullock.

'Through this requisition process, the [consortium has] only gained the support of a further 3% of votes. These additional votes were, we believe, only garnered by bringing "inside" a further institutional shareholder and discussing the strategy for the business with them. It is a great shame that the [consortium] continues to keep the majority of Victoria's shareholders in the dark as to the strategy.

'Despite the current board having received the support of nearly 90% in number of those shareholders who have cast a proxy vote, we have to reluctantly accept that the independent non-executive directors would be required to step down from the board.'

The general meeting will take place at 2pm today. Bullock has previously warned that he and Ian Davies, group finance director and Barry Poynter, director and md of its Australian operations could not work with the proposed non-executive directors because of the consortium's 'hostile' behaviour.