Speedy Hire reaches compromise

By Helen Wright09 September 2016

UK rental company Speedy Hire’s shareholders have voted to keep Jan Åstrand as chairman, but also decided to appoint David Shearer to the board as a non-executive director.

David Shearer - currently chairman of Liberty Living Group, chairman of Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust, and senior independent director at STV Group – was proposed as a board member by Speedy majority shareholder Toscafund, which also convened the meeting to decide whether or not to remove Mr Åstrand as chairman.

A total of 63% of Speedy’s shareholders voted to keep Mr Åstrand as director of the company, while 53% also voted to appoint Mr Shearer to the board. Speedy Hire said his appointment was effective immediately, and it welcomed him to the board.

Toscafund was frustrated by Speedy’s rejection of a merger plan with HSS Hire, another UK rental company.

The activist shareholder, which owns 19.4% of Speedy’s shares and an 18.1% stake in HSS Hire, and called for the general meeting of Speedy’s shareholders and management to consider two resolutions: the first to remove Jan Åstrand as chairman, and the second to appoint David Shearer as a director of the company.

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