Airtours sues former owners of Aspro

AIRTOURS, the second-largest holiday company in the UK, is suing the former owners of Aspro Travel, the Cardiff-based company it bought for pounds 20m last June.

The company yesterday issued a formal notice to the Stock Exchange, following reports in the weekend press.

It said: 'Airtours has commenced proceedings against George, Christopher and Dimitrios Asprou, the former owners of 90 per cent of the issued share capital of Aspro Travel.'

The claim, it added, was being made on 'the grounds of fraudulent misrepresentation at the time of the acquisition of the trading position of Aspro and its wholly owned subsidiary, Inter European Airways.'

Airtours is also claiming against all of the former shareholders of Aspro under warranties and representations contained in the purchase agreement.

Initial investigations, carried out by independent accountants, estimate the claim to be pounds 9.8m.

Grant Thornton, chartered accountants and auditors to Airtours, acted for the company when it bought Aspro. Touche Ross handled the independent investigation.

Airtours' statement yesterday followed its move last week to obtain a freezing order on pounds 12.6m of interest- bearing loan notes paid to the three Asprou brothers.

The City was wrongfooted by yesterday's events. Airtours shares fell 13p to 540p.

Some analysts criticised the way in which Airtours chose to disclose the problems with Aspro. One said: 'They should have spelt it out in the annual report and accounts.'

Airtours said its accounts for the year to September 1993 fully reflected the shortfall against the level of profits previously expected from the acquisition.

It does not say what the shortfall was, but two notes in the report allude to problems at Aspro.

Note 1 on page 28 shows that Aspro made a profit of only pounds 6,000 in July, August and September last year - the peak months for travel companies. Note 10 on page 34 shows that Aspro lost pounds 9.44m in the previous eight months.

It is understood that Airtours was expecting Aspro to produce pounds 4m of profits for 1992/3.

Airtours declined to comment on this but said that the earnings and assets of the current financial year would not be hit.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy