Allegations fly in hostile takeover bid

A row has erupted between two leading leisure companies this week after a hostile takeover turned into a heated exchange of allegations concerning accounting irregularities and misleading practices.

European Leisure became the target of a hostile bid from Waterfall Holdings last week, and has now cited ‘concerns’ over Waterfall’s 1998 accounts, including uncertainty over whether it included an undisclosed one-off #300,000 sum in its 1998 pre-tax profit figure of #1.9m.

European Leisure is demanding Waterfall, in which it holds a 24% stake, sacks its auditor Ernst & Young and appoints an independent firm to consider its financial affairs.

In a statement, Waterfall questioned European’s accounting policies.

A spokesman said: ‘This is an attempt to distract from an offer which makes perfect common sense.’

Waterfall said European had already voted to adopt Waterfall’s 1998 accounts and had also approved the re-appointment of Ernst & Young.

An Ernst & Young spokesman said: ‘We have full confidence in our 1998 audit of Waterfall Holdings.’

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