Largest shareholder in Johnston Press pushes for Alex Salmond to join board

The biggest shareholder in Johnston Press, publishers of The Scotsman, has formally called for former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond to be appointed to the board and for two directors to be removed.

The Norwegian investor wants to appoint Mr Salmond to the board of Scotsman publisher, Johnston Press

Christen Ager-Hanssen, whose Custos Group holds a 20 per cent stake in Johnston Press, has written to request a general meeting where shareholders will vote on the proposed removal of chairman Camilla Rhodes and non-executive director Michael Butterworth.

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The Norwegian activist investor wants to replace them with Mr Salmond and Steve Auckland, who previously ran regional newspaper group Local World. In the meantime, Johnston Press should also not be allowed to appoint any new directors before the shareholder meeting, according to Custos.

Johnston Press, which also owns the Edinburgh Evening News, Scotland On Sunday, i newspaper, the Yorkshire Post and some 200 local titles, now has 21 days to send shareholders notice of a forthcoming meeting. The meeting must then be held within 28 days.

Mr Ager-Hanssen was blocked in an attempt to appoint four directors to the Johnston board last month.