Gestetner trio receive pounds 548,000 after write-off

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THREE former directors of photocopier leasing company Gestetner have shared a pounds 548,000 pay-off.

The three men left after the company wrote off pounds 50m in reorganisation and redundancy costs. The write-off tore a hole in Gestetner's profit figures last year.

Poor economic conditions on the Continent meant operating profits fell from pounds 44m to pounds 27m in the year to 31 October. The write-off pushed Gestetner to a pre-tax loss of pounds 33m.

Brian Copsey, former finance director, resigned on 7 September and was replaced by Stephen King, previously the director of financial control at Inchcape, the international business services group.

The two other directors - David Fitzsimons and John Gerahty - resigned last May. Basil Sellers, Gestetner's Australian chairman, also stepped down in May but was retained as a non-executive director. He has not received severance pay.

At about the same time, Inchape bought 15 per cent of Gestetner, and also owns convertible loan stock that could increase its shareholding to 25 per cent.

Gestetner refused to give details of how the pounds 548,000 payment was shared by among Mr Copsey, Mr Fitzsimons and Mr Gerahty.

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