Chairman steps down at Scottish Heritable

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The Independent Online
EDWARD DENISON has stepped down as chairman of Scottish Heritable Trust less than a week before crucial refinancing talks resume.

Roger Shute, the man who founded and built up BM Group before resigning on health grounds shortly before profits and shares at the engineering conglomerate collapsed, takes his place.

The company described Mr Shute's appointment as a temporary one. His appointment as chief executive last September was couched in similar terms.

Scottish Heritable was a conglomerate that owned Standard Fireworks and some housebuilding interests. It has sold most of its assets to reduce borrowings but still owes pounds 24m to a syndicate of banks.

In November, Scottish Heritable's shares were suspended at 5p. Just before the stock market crash in October 1987 they peaked at 293p. The company said the suspension was 'pending clarification of its financial position', a phrase normally reserved for companies encountering grave difficulties.

Refinancing negotiations resume next Tuesday. Mr Denison, who is 65, is on holiday in New Zealand. John Whitehead, company secretary, said it had been Mr Denison's intention to retire on completion of legal action against the accountants KPMG Peat Marwick.

The company was awarded dollars 8.5m last week but the judgment, in America, is subject to appeal.