Shareholders at listed architect Aukett have called for its board of directors to be replaced because of disagreements over its European strategy.
It is believed that more than a fifth of shareholders think a decision to pull back from some of its European ventures is mistaken.

Spanish architect Imagina Management, Aukett's largest shareholder with a 13.6% holding, is leading the revolt. It wants the boss of Imagina, José Luis Ripoll, to be made executive chairman. It also proposes that former Aukett chairman Gerry Deighton and Stephen Beckers, an associate at Belgian architect Art & Build, be installed as non-executive directors. Aukett has a joint venture with Art & Build in Paris.

Beckers said: "The shareholders believe that Aukett should strengthen in Europe rather than concentrate on London."

Aukett chairman Ian Mavor has called an extraordinary general meeting for 25 February. The company also intends to poll shareholders on the issue.

Mavor said: "Ripolli put a proposal to me on Monday evening, wanting to co-opt himself on to the board as executive chairman. He wished to takeover the company."

Mavor said the dissenting shareholders were also unhappy at the progress that managing director Geoff Harwood had made in turning the business around.

In the 2001-02 financial year the company made a pre-tax loss of more than £2.4m. Mavor described these results as "the poorest for many years".

Aukett has since posted an interim pre-tax profit of £110,000.