Small investors accounting for 40% of Coffee Republic’s shares are have written to the company’s founder, Bobby Hashemi, asking him to consider stepping down as chairman and chief executive. They accuse him of playing down the success of the new-format deli-stores and fear that he is plotting to buy out other shareholders, with the shares close to a 10-year low. They are also furious at what they see as a lack of adequate communication. Stephen Bartlett, who has built an 11% stake through Plymouth Land, is leading the revolt. He is demanding a seat on the board and wants a commitment that the next general meeting will 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”. The Sunday Times (Business) 30/07/06 page 3