Former Emap managing director Sir David Arculus has put himself forward as a potential chairman for the group.

Arculus would like the group to remain intact and is keen to oust the group chairman Alun Cathcart if its £2billion break-up plans go awry.

According to recent press reports, Arculus approached the company in July, claiming 25% shareholder support for his scheme. Arculus worked for Emap for 15 years during the 1980s and 1990s, helping build the company during one of its most successful periods.

Arculus claimed that if he were to be appointed chairman he would push the share price up to 1200p from 867p to return value to shareholders.

Emap was unavailable for comment but sources dismissed Arculus's plans as unlikely and said the sale of Emap's three divisions - radio, consumer and business-to-business magazines - was expected to go ahead as planned.

One source commented: "Back in July when the strategic review was announced shareholders backed Cathcart's plans to either demerge or break up the group.

When Arculus put forward his proposal in July it was for the most part ignored."

Emap publishes Broadcast.