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Prestbury shareholders call for removal of Lee and Lynne Birkett as directors

Shareholders of Prestbury have called for the removal of Lee Birkett and Lynne Birkett as directors of the mortgage network due to “conflicts of interest”.

In a statement to the stock market today Prestbury revealed it had restored trading on Aim, but also announced that an extraordinary general meeting has been timetabled at the request of shareholders who have “lost confidence in the corporate governance standards at Prestbury”.

The shareholders who called for the meeting also believe the network “suffers too many conflicts of interest with certain members of the executive team”.

Lee Birkett is currently chief executive of the company and his mother, Lynne Birkett is finance director.

Earlier this year there a management buy-out proposal by Birkett and other executive directors was rejected by the independent directors of the company and more recently there were rumours that an EGM had been requested to remove chairman and Conservative MP Francis Maude and non-executive director David Anderson from the board.

Prestbury had to suspend trading on Aim between June 27 and today due to the fact it was not able to file its annual results on time.

The results were finally published last week but showed a £1m loss, which included a £850,000 write down on a related third-party loan to Prestbury Investment Management, a packager that was formerly part of the network but is now wholly-owned by Lee Birkett.

Today’s stock market announcement reveals that non-executives Maude and Anderson proposed a board restructure so that the executive directors no longer formed the majority, but the proposals were rejected by the executive directors chief executive Lee Birkett, finance director Lynne Birkett, compliance director Maggie Cresswell and sales director Kevin Sample.

Maude and Anderson believed that under their original proposals it would have still been possible for Lee Birkett to remain as chief executive officer.

An EGM has now been scheduled for August 20 to consider the removal of Lee and Lynne Birkett as company directors.

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