Coffee Republic, the AIM-listed company, has denied that is has received an approach over a possible offer. In an announcement released to the stock exchange, the group said that, in answer to recent speculation and a rise in the group’s share price, it has not received an approach or was in discussions over an offer for the business including a management buyout. The group saw its share price rise by 0.55p to 3.96p yesterday. The announcement immediately saw shares in the company, which operates 13 franchised deli and coffee bars in the UK, fall by 1.09p to 2.88p, a drop of 27.4%, in early afternoon trading. The company’s statement came after investors accounting for 40% of Coffee Republic’s shares wrote to the company’s founder, Bobby Hashemi, at the end of July asking him to consider stepping down as chairman and chief executive. They accused him of playing down the success of the new-format deli-stores and feared that he was plotting to buy out other shareholders, with the shares then close to a 10-year low. They were also furious at what they saw as a lack of adequate communication. Stephen Bartlett, who has built an 11% stake through Plymouth Land, led the revolt. He demanded a seat on the board and wanted a commitment that the next general meeting would be in London rather than in Scotland. Hashemi hit back at his critics and denied he was drawing up plans to buy out other shareholders. He said the company’s policy had always been “to be open, prudent but not to over-promise”.