Long standing Lookers non executive director Tony Bramall has bought forward the date he will leave the board.
In an announcement to the Stock Market this morning, Lookers said Bramall will leave the business at the end of December rather than the end of the current financial year.
No reasons have been given for his early departure.
Bramall is one of the group’s major share holders. He is a veteran of the industry and has built and sold many dealer groups including one to Pendragon for £240m in 2004.
Phil White, Lookers chairman, said: ‘Tony is a legendary figure and a real character of the motor industry.
‘He has also been a stalwart member of the Lookers Board for the past 14 years.
‘I would like to thank him, both personally and on behalf of the Board, for the huge contribution he has made to the Group during his time with Lookers.’
There was no statement from Bramall included in the announcement. Insiders have said he had become incredibly frustrated at the issues the company has been facing.
Lookers still hasn’t released its accounts for 2019 as auditors continue to deep dive into a fraud investigation. The company is also awaiting the outcome of an FCA investigation.
The 2019 accounts have been delayed four times this year.
Car industry analyst for Liberum Sanjay Vidyarthi said Bramall’s departure was not really a surprise.
He added: ‘The move was flagged back in June. It’s happening a bit earlier than indicated, which is no surprise given the circumstances.
It will be interesting to see how the board is strengthened.’
October 19, 2020 – Lookers updates market on performance in Q3, but still no word on its 2019 accounts or the FCA investigation. Analysts expect results to be out before December.
August 20, 2020 – Accounts delayed for the fourth time and no promise given as to when they’ll be published.
June 9, 2020 – Lookers says it will suspend shares on July 1. Delays accounts for third time and says they’ll be published ‘no later than the end of August 2020’.
June 5, 2020 – Lookers says it will axe 12 dealerships, cut 1,500 jobs.
May 2020 – Pendragon CEO Bill Berman admits he wrote to Lookers to discuss a merger and updates Stock Market to that effect. Move described as ‘two drunk men bumping into each other in a bar’.
April 2020 – Fraud investigation deepens. £4m charge revealed and firm says there could be more. Delays accounts to June.
March 12, 2020 – New chief operating officer Cameron Wade leaves role after only a month in post
March 11, 2020 – Lookers delays results saying in final stages of preparation ‘potentially fraudulent transactions’ in one division were discovered. Promises results in April.
November 2019 – Chief executive Andy Bruce and chief operating officer Nigel McMinn leave firm abruptly
June 2019 – FCA launches review into sales processes at Lookers between January 2016 and June 2019. Lookers cannot ‘estimate what effect, if any, the outcome of the investigation may have’.
December 2018 – Lookers launches independent internal audit into sales process. It eventually finds ‘control issues’ in sales process where ‘improvements’ are needed. Findings handed to FCA.