Amigo tumbles after founder continues to plot return to board

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Amigo Holdings PLC (LON:AMGO) shares tumbled on Monday after the guarantor loans group implored its founder, James Benamor, “not to waste further time and expense” by continuing to pursue his plans to retake control of the firm.

In a blog post last Friday, Benamor laid out several demands to restructure the company, including the replacement of chief finance officer Nayan Kisnadwala, the removal of acting non-executive chairman Roger Lovering and the appointment of himself as chief executive while moving incumbent CEO Glen Crawford to head up Amigo Loans Ltd, the group’s subsidiary.

READ: Amigo gets more time to sort out borrowings

Benamor also threatened to call a shareholder vote on his plans if the demands were not met by the board, however on Monday morning the company rejected his proposals, saying Crawford had “made it clear” that he will not work with the firm “in any circumstances where Mr Benamor returns to Amigo’s governance structure in a position of influence”.

“In the event that Mr Benamor elects to requisition a general meeting for shareholders to vote on his proposals, and should he be successful in gaining shareholder approval for his proposals, the Board has agreed with Mr Crawford that he may terminate his employment contract immediately. The Board is strongly of the view that such an outcome would be materially detrimental to the interests of the company and its shareholders taken as a whole”, the group added.

Benamor, who set up Amigo in 2005 but stepped back from the day-to-day business in 2015, has been locked in an escalating dispute with the company’s management amid soaring customer complaints that have landed it with a hefty GBP244mln bill which sent it swinging to a loss in its latest full year.

Amigo has also made a pledge to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that it will reach a position by the end of October where all complaints are dealt with appropriately within eight weeks, while the FCA has launched an investigation into the company’s creditworthiness assessments.

Benamor has previously accused the group of committing “slow motion suicide” and previously attempted to sell his 61% stake in the firm after he failed to replace the company’s board with his own nominees in a shareholder vote in June.

Shares in Amigo slumped 23% to 13.7p in mid-morning trading.

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