AN EXODUS of directors from former mail order retailer Flying Brands began yesterday as Ayrshire tycoon Sir Tom Hunter ploughs on with his restructuring plan for the firm.
The Aim-quoted company, in which Hunter holds a 27 per cent stake following a failed takeover bid in 2008, has sold off its trading subsidiaries and been left with just a single flower farm on Jersey.
Finance director Stuart Dootson stood down yesterday, while chairman Tim Trotter plans to leave at the end of the year. Dootson has been replaced by financial controller Chris Knott.
Senior non-executive director John Henwood and his independent colleague Gerald Voisin are also both leaving.
Flying Brands’ board is now mulling its options for the remaining asset and is considering whether to sell the property and return the cash to shareholders or to buy other businesses. News of the boardroom shake up came as the firm posted a narrowing in its losses for the six months to 29 June following the sale of its gifts division for £2.4 million and its garden bird food operations for £800,000.
Losses narrowed to £1.1m from £1.7m. The firm owes Palatine Private Equity £750,000, which is due to be repaid by the end of the year.
Trotter said: “We have had preliminary discussions about bringing other businesses into the company and we expect to have discussions with other parties in the near future.
“It may be the board will conclude the best way of achieving value for shareholders is by an orderly disposal of Retreat Farm and the return of cash.”
Hunter took a 29.9 per cent stake in 2006 for £23.6m. His holding is now worth just under £500,000, although it is understood he wrote off the investment several years ago.
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