Another auditor quits Easier

Brebner, Allen & Trapp has become the second firm to resign from the
audit of cash shell Easier, following the withdrawal of Big Four firm Deloitte
as auditor in October 2004.

Accountancy Age has learned that Brebner quit as auditor on the 12
July and informed Easier of the decision. But there has so far been no filing of
Brebner’s formal notice of the resignation with Companies House, a statutory
requirement. Easier has still to file its accounts for 2003.

The resignation continues the controversy surrounding Easier, which began
when Deloitte resigned after failing to receive adequate information concerning
the company’s investments. Attention has focused on £5.3m invested in Easier.

Losing two auditors in such short order with accounts outstanding is
‘thankfully unusual’, according to John Pierce, chief executive of the Quoted
Companies Alliance.

‘It’s unsatisfactory and frustrating for shareholders. It’s a test of good
governance, if they’re not being more open and proactive,’ added Pierce.

The loss of another auditor is not the end of the troubles facing Easier
directors. Neville Buch, a major shareholder who owns 10% of the company, lodged
papers at the High Court on 5 August applying for a ‘requisition’ forcing an
emergency general meeting at which he will attempt to oust all the current
company directors.

The current directors, John Strachan and New Zealand-qualified chartered
accountant Brian Copsey, were put in place at an earlier EGM in June, also
requisitioned by Buch and fellow shareholder Gilbert Chalk.

The two shareholders intended to unseat directors at that meeting and put
themselves in charge, but were placated by the offer of a fresh set of faces on
the board and a cash offer for their shares.

A spokesman for Easier claimed that its directors were finalising details of
the cash offer to shareholders, and would make them known ‘imminently’.
Easier would not comment on Brebner’s current position.

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