Shock news this morning as Vantis’ auditors Ernst & Young issued a going concern warning alongside the firm’s interim results.
Ostensibly an accountancy firm, it’s got to be painful for the firm’s managers to see E&Y deliver that opinion.
The appalling irony for Vantis is that much of the firm’s difficulties come from acting as joint liquidator to Allen Stanford’s Standford International Bank. Vantis has spent a lot doing the work, but is yet to receive full payment. The interims reveal a loss amounting to a little more than £10m overall.The future of an accountancy business threatened by taking on a high profile liquidation? In this environment:? Who’d have thought it.
Investors meanwhile have been losing faith in Vantis for some time. Last May the share price stood at 91p. On Friday last week it closed at 29p.
The Stanford ordeal means that Vantis is the largest accountancy business, around thirteenth in the UK, to face a real threat from the economic crisis.
Problems at the company will no doubt spark speculation over whether the business is ripe for takeover. The current share price possibly offers a decent deal. And with liquidators in place who can attract work like the Staford job, Vantis might look attractive.
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