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Inchcape's largest shareholder calls for its break-up

Inchcape's biggest shareholder has called for its break-up and the return of £90m to shareholders.

Investor group Guinness Peat, with a 16% stake, has made the call due to concern about the forthcoming financial results. According to the Financial Times, Sir John Brierley, Guiness Peat chairman says in a letter to Inchcape chairman Sir John Egan that the value to shareholders from a break-up was “in direct contrast to what we anticipate will be a disappointing year 2000 result”.

Sir Ron said: “We believe Inchcape has an excellent opportunity to obtain the full value of its individual components by a controlled programme of realisation rather than prolonging the existence of an outdated model for the stake of doing so.”

He called Inchcape's investment in Autobytel a “continuing cash drain”.

Guinness Peat wants the return of £1 per share to Inchcape shareholders from £100m in cash it had repatriated from the Netherlands to the UK.

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