Alpha Airports rejoins London Stock Market

06 July 2006
Alpha Airports rejoins London Stock Market

Shares in Alpha Airports, the airline caterer, have been relisted on the London Stock Exchange, following a probe into a deal with Icelandic charter airline Excel Airways.

The shares were pulled from the stock exchange in April when PricewaterhouseCoopers refused to sign off Alpha's accounts due to legal uncertainties surrounding the contract.

Alpha today admitted that the October 2005 deal could have put Excel in a position that may have let it manipulate its financial statements at a time when its parent company was preparing for an initial public offering.

In a statement to the City this morning, Alpha said the issues surrounding the deal "fell short of the levels of corporate governance that a public company should adhere to".

Chairman Graham Frost also announced his resignation.

"I consider it appropriate for me to step down from the board to enable a new chairman to be appointed who can provide long-term support for Peter Williams new chief executive] and the company," he said.

Williams will act as chairman during the search for a permanent replacement.

Chief executive Kevin Abbott and finance director Heather McRae resigned in May as a result of the share suspension.

In the 12 months to 31 January, turnover at Alpha rose by 13% to £551m, while pre-tax profit increased by 6.3% to £18.5m.

Meanwhile, as exclusively revealed in Caterer today, as part of a separate investigation the company is also considering legal action over claims it was defrauded out of £2.5m.

A lawsuit may follow an internal Alpha probe, which investigated the handling of overseas VAT payments in several European countries by a UK-based third party.

Top directors at Alpha Airports resign >>

Legal uncertainty leads to Alpha pulling shares >>

By Tom Bill

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