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The investment on May 30 prompted an immediate 4p rise in the company’s share price with further rises later, the share price closing at 226p as Mr Petchey’s bid, thought to be worth 225p per share, was rejected last week.

Mallett dismissed Mr Petchey as an “asset stripper” only interested in its properties – it has 25-year leases on Bourdon House in Davies Street, just off Berkeley Square, and its New Bond Street gallery – and said that the bid of 225p per share dramatically undervalued the company.

Mr Petchey, who has a history of successful property deals, has also recently taken significant stakes in two hotel chains, including Jarvis.