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Torex Retail, the struggling software group, sought to restore investor confidence on Wednesday as it announced that both Neil Mitchell and Chris Moore had stepped down from their roles as chief executive and non-executive chairman respectively.
The move comes a day after the Serious Fraud Office, in conjunction with the City of London police, announced it was investigating the Oxfordshire-based group, which makes software for cash registers and has Monsoon, McDonalds and Swarovski as customers.
Its shares remained suspended on the Alternative Investment Market. On Friday it shook the after it shook shocking the market on Friday with a major profit warning and greater-than-forecast net debt levels just eight days after unveiling a raft of new contracts.
The London Stock Exchange is also investigating Torex and its brokers Evolution Securities and Jefferies International over the as to whether the company has broken Aim disclosure rules.
Iain Lynam, a turnaround specialist from Aaronite Partners, a turnaround consultancy with ties to Deloitte, has been appointed to lead the restructuring and given day-to-day executive matters.
Mr Lynam has worked with the North West Health Authority and is also a Director of the Society of Turnaround Professionals.
He will also be supported by Marcus Leek, Torex’s finance director, Geoffrey Forster, senior non-executive director, and David Hallett, another non-executive director.
Mr Forster will act as chairman, “with the full authority to carry on the management of the company,” a statement said.
Torex also said it had appointed Deloitte to advise the company.
KPMG has been brought in by Torex’s bankers Royal Bank of Scotland to review the company’s operations.
The company need to update the market on the impact of the of contracts that “slipped” from 2006 into this year, which underpinned Friday’s warning.
The group’s shares will resume trading when it has a clearer picture of its figures.
Mr Moore has been with Torex Retail since 2004 although he was been chief executive of its predecessor Torex in the late 1990s, until it merged with healthcare software group Isoft in 2003.
Mr Mitchell arrived in September on the understanding he had a mandate to sell the business.
He also announced plans to streamline the board so that he could grow the to aggressively grow the “business of the new Torex Retail”. going forward.
Mr Mitchell also He also said that, despite its lengthy acquisition programme that has seen it spend £400m in in recent years, Torex Retail remained was “composed of “a federation of business units”. He said there was “a need to move to a more clearly developed product strategy and market segmentation.” and sales pipeline execution.
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