Phoenix IT chief and auditors out the door as a sale looms

PHOENIX IT Group yesterday announced a surprise departure of its chief executive, in a move that was seen as paving the way for a sale of the firm.

David Courtley stepped down to make way for the firm’s chairman, IT veteran Peter Bertram, while auditors Deloitte were also sacked after “irregularities” over the company’s accounts surfaced.

Analysts said Bertram’s appointment was likely to lead to a sale of Phoenix. “The investment view is that shareholders have been poorly served by the board and the revolving door of executives,” said Peel Hunt’s George O’Connor. “Shareholders are now best served by either a change in management – ie. a recognised ‘fixer’ or having the business taken over.”

Phoenix, which it is understood will consider offers, saw shares rise by just under two per cent.