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Toy manufacturer Hornby is to hold a general meeting after receiving a formal request from a leading shareholder for the removal of chairman Roger Canham.

The model train maker said it had received a letter from Ian Alexander Anton, signed on behalf of ROY Nominees and a group of HSBC global custody nominees together representing 20 per cent of the company’s shares.

The shareholders are seeking a meeting to consider resolutions to remove Mr Canham from office as a director of the company and appoint Mr Anton. The actions should take place “with immediate effect” the letter said.

Mr Canham joined Hornby in 2012 and became chairman in February 2013 – briefly acting as executive chairman ahead of the appointment of chief executive Steve Cooke last year.

The bid to remove him tees up a clash between two of the toymaker’s biggest backers as Mr Canham is also chairman of Phoenix Asset Management Partners, one of Hornby’s largest shareholders.

The move comes amid signs the manufacturer is back on track after shares jumped 10 per cent on Friday after it announced it had completed the first stage of the turnround plan it began last June.

The company, which also makes Airfix planes and Scalextric cars for hobby enthusiasts, said it had successfully restructured its European business, reducing its cost base, and had cut back its product range.

It announced plans last year to axe more than half of its product lines after finding 50 per cent of its products generated 90 per cent of its profit.

(Image: PA)

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