The finance director of Speedy’s international division has been suspended and other senior divisional management are the subject of further investigation. Law firm Addleshaw Goddard has been engaged to carry out a legal investigation and forensic accountants are in the process of being appointed.
Mr Corcoran has been with Speedy for more than 25 years, having joined in 1987. He rose to chief operating officer in April 2001 and has been chief executive since 2005.
In a statement, Speedy said: “Following management changes within Speedy Hire's international division, which operates principally in the Middle East, information has very recently emerged indicating the mis-statement of a number of accounting balances within the international division over recent accounting periods. The information currently available suggests that certain control processes within the International Division have been repeatedly and deliberately circumvented. The issues are believed to affect a limited number of smaller contracts. These issues do not relate to the ZADCO and Al Futtaim Carillion contracts nor the Kazakhstan joint venture. The international division accounts for approximately 5% of total group revenue.”
The board believes that the accounting mis-statements are isolated to the international division and are not expected to have a material impact on cash. The total aggregate impact of these issues is estimated to be approximately £5m.
The company said that it remained in compliance with the financial covenants under the its banking facilities but it had breached certain other terms.
The board statement continued: “Given these events, Steve Corcoran believes it is appropriate that he resigns as group chief executive, will be stepping down from the board of Speedy Hire and will be leaving the company at a date to be finalised. He will remain with the business for a period to allow for continuity with customers, suppliers and employees and pending the appointment of a new group chief executive.”
Mr Corcoran is a member of the Construction Plant-hire Association's council and the Industry Principals' Council of the Construction Products Association. He is also chairman of the CBI North West.