Shock exit of AssetCo’s finance chief sends shares into 17 per cent freefall

THE CHIEF financial officer of fire engine provider AssetCo resigned with immediate effect yesterday in the latest setback for the troubled firm.

Scott Brown, who was parachuted into the indebted firm just seven months ago, was leading negotiations with AssetCo’s banks over a £50m long-term debt facility and had overseen a £16m rescue share placement that led to the ousting of its chief executive John Shannon. AssetCo shares plunged 17 per cent to 3.93p as investors bet his exit would spell further woes for the firm.

AssetCo said his departure was an “orderly transition” and an unnamed interim manager was handling Brown’s immediate duties and the finance structure while interim chairman Tudor Davies was responsible for board liaison on finance.

But some sources questioned how an orderly transition would involve such a sudden departure without a replacement. One analyst asked why he left said simply: “Wouldn’t you?”

Another source suggested to City A.M. he had struggled to gain control of the finances. His exit means it is now highly likely investors will be tapped for a further £10m emergency funds pledged at the prior placement.