Sir Colin Chandler, Vickers chief executive was due to oversee a shareholders’ vote on bids for Rolls-Royce from Volkswagen (£430m) and BMW of Germany (£340m) at an extraordinary general meeting today. But acceptance of the Volkswagen bid would leave Vickers with only £148m to spend on acquisitions in the defence industry. Up to £273m would be returned to shareholders, with another £9m going to preference shareholders. A last-minute bid by Crewe Motors, the firm set up by barrister Michael Shrimpton was racing to firm up financial commitments to the offer before the Friday deadline. Vickers has said that any new offer could delay the sale until September or October.