The removal of Mitchells and Butlers (M&B) chairman Simon Laffin now looks like a near certainty, after another major shareholder indicated it had aligned itself with billionaire Joe Lewis.
Elpida, the investment vehicle owned by racing tycoons JP McManus and John Magnier which holds a 17.6% stake in the company, indicated in a letter to the company's board that it wanted to "achieve a new independent board", according to The Times.
The letter comes just a day before M&B holds its annual general meeting, at which shareholders will be asked to vote on proposals from Piedmont, Joe Lewis' investment vehicle, to install several directors which it supports, as well as removing Laffin.
Elpida said it had "no confidence" in Laffin and criticised him for the removal of four independent directors late last year thought to have links to the rebel shareholders.
It also attacked him for continuing to accuse Piedmont and Elpida of acting in concert to take over the company, despite a ruling by the Takeover Panel that it had found no evidence to support the claim.
By Neil Gerrard
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