The announcement of the discovery coincided with the departures of chief executive John Simpson and finance director David Donnelly. Shares plummeted by over one third.
The two senior managers will leave Mayflower at the end of April, in what the company described as a ‘separate matter’.
The trouble came from the accounts of the company’s TransBus division and are said to ‘relate principally to delays in passing on payments from customers to one of the group’s finance providers’.
Mayflower’s share price was already suffering after a share warning five weeks ago, which saw 80% of its value wiped out.
The company said its debt – which stood at £176m at the end of last year – would have to increase by up to £20m.
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