`No return’ from Hadleigh break-up

Hadleigh, the petrol and industrial storage tank maker, has warned shareholders not to expect any significant return from the break-up of the group. The warning came as the company’s new auditor, HLB Kidsons, examined Hadleigh’s accounts following a fraud at its Cookson and Zin (CZ) division, and accounting irregularities at former subsidiary Universal Bulk Handling […]

Hadleigh, the petrol and industrial storage tank maker, has warned shareholders not to expect any significant return from the break-up of the group.

The warning came as the company’s new auditor, HLB Kidsons, examined Hadleigh’s accounts following a fraud at its Cookson and Zin (CZ) division, and accounting irregularities at former subsidiary Universal Bulk Handling (UBH).

Former CZ finance director David Cottle pleaded guilty in March to a series of deception charges and was subsequently jailed.

Hadleigh said that despite extending the financial year to a 14-month period, the accounts were still not yet available for publication because of the difficulty of resolving accounting issues arising from the £220,000 fraud. Hadleigh has since started legal action against its former accountant KPMG, alleging negligence.

Receivers were appointed to UBH in February and this business was later sold. But Hadleigh said although it had also decided to sell CZ, trading conditions had become increasingly difficult because of the strong pound and the parent group’s financial instability.