New board set to conduct Huntsworth Group audit

The new board at the troubled Huntsworth Group has hired investigating accountants to conduct an audit of the group's finances.

The new board at the troubled Huntsworth Group has hired investigating accountants to conduct an audit of the group's finances.

The original board was booted out at an extraordinary general meeting last week, called by shareholders owning a third of the company. This group, now the board, was made up of Lord Chadlington, ex-Halifax chairman Jon Foulds and former Warburgs director Anthony Brooke.

Ernst and Young has been called in to assess Huntsworth's finances before Chadlington and his associates make what they consider necessary cost cuts. An acting finance director, Richard Morgan, has also been drafted in.

The EGM saw a 97 per cent majority vote for the removal of the six directors and the installation of Foulds as chairman and Chadlington and Brooke as non-executive directors.

Chadlington this week set to work on Huntsworth, which has paid no dividend since 1990 and has suffered a profits and share price collapse in that period.

'None of us are taking a salary, so by replacing the board we are saving pounds 1 million a year,' he said. Chadlington will take no formal title at Huntsworth until his Shandwick notice period ends at the end of September.

He plans to cut group costs and is thought to be considering ways of cutting the property bill. Huntsworth, which owns PR agency Holmes and Marchant, an advertising agency, a sales promotion firm and a design shop, operates from four different sites across the south-east.

'We are now asking the subsidiaries' boards to show us their plans for the next year,' Chadlington said.

He played down rumours that ex-Shandwick chief Michael Murphy was in line to run Huntsworth.



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