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The Board have been concerned for a couple of years about the stagnating company profits and the rising costs associated with the business.
The Board have been concerned for a couple of years about the stagnating company profits and the rising costs associated with the business. These concerns have been exacerbated since the fall in the value of the pound following the Brexit vote, as they rely upon imported raw materials and the cost of these has increased massively over the last 18 months. At present, all of their production takes place in the UK, but they are now seriously considering closing their factory in Preston, Lancashire and moving production to a new plant in Romania. They have carried out detailed modelling which suggests that this would reduce costs by around 15%, helping improve the company's profitability. However, such a move would result in their current workforce of 1,500 in Preston losing their jobs, and there is certain to be great resistance to the move from workers and from both local and central government. They also know that there is a significant minority of shareholders who would oppose the move, having invested in the company due to its commitment to maintaining production in the UK. They are concerned that these shareholders may try to bring court action to prevent the board making a decision to move production outside of the UK, and would like to know what shareholder action may be possible and what steps the board should take to protect against the risk of such action.