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Johnston Press coup leader warns 'winter is coming' after publisher rejects call for shareholder vote

An attempted coup at Johnston Press has been delayed after the newspaper publisher said the activist investor leading it had made technical errors that made his call for a shareholder meeting "invalid".
Johnston Press said it will put Christen Ager-Hanssen's proposal to replace its chairman with the former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, to a vote if it receives a valid demand.
It is understood that Mr Ager-Hanssen's attempt to trigger a shareholder meeting was rejected because his letter to the board was signed by his investment vehicle, Custos. His 20pc stake in Johnston Press is held via a nominee, however.
The Norwegian was undeterred by the hurdle and said he will re-submit his requisition letter this week.
He said: "Winter is coming, and the the board of Johnston Press are still sunbathing, sipping pina coladas and tripping over their flip-flops on the beach."
Johnston Press coup leader warns 'winter is coming' after publisher rejects call for shareholder vote

Christen Ager-Hanssen aims to deliver a turnaround rather than let lenders seize control

Credit:
JULIAN SIMMONDS/Telegraph
The comment was a riposte to criticism of his coup attempt by a source close to Johnston Press, who claimed he had "more flip-flops than a beach shop" in his plans to revive the struggling publisher, which is behind the i, the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post.
As well as Mr Salmond, Mr Ager-Hanssen aims to install the veteran newspaper executive Steve Auckland as a non-executive director to help deliver a radical shake-up of the company.
Johnston Press is struggling with tumbling print circulation and advertising revenues from its stable of around 200 local newspapers. It has been attempting to agree a restructuring plan with the holders of its ?220m bonds.
The debt is due for repayment in 2019 and the company will not be able to refinance without a dramatic turnaround in its business. The board has been focused on a potential debt-for-equity swap, while Mr Ager-Hanssen believes that he can restore Johnston Press to growth and refinance the full sum on a lower interest rate.
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