Director makes sudden exit from MyTravel

The rescue deal to save the highly indebted holiday company MyTravel was yesterday thrown into uncertainty after its finance director suddenly resigned ahead of a crucial meeting with bondholders.

Kazia Kantor, 53, yesterday left the company with immediate effect. She had only been in the post since November, having stepped in from her position as a non-executive director to take the reins when the previous management team resigned.

Bondholders were understood to be very surprised by the move, which comes only three weeks before they are expected to agree a refinancing deal that is vital to securing the future of the company. If MyTravel fails to secure the deal, it will be in breach of its banking covenants and will have to repay £1.3bn of debt.

Analysts, too, were concerned at the sudden timing of the announcement, and are keeping the beleaguered company on their "critical list".

"There are a lot of questions we now want to ask," said Nigel Parsons at Williams de Broe. "There may well be more problems to find within the company and a lot more work to do."

Shares in the company fell 5.5 per cent to close at 25.5p.

A series of accounting errors at the group, formerly known as Airtours, dogged the group last year, compounding the problems brought on by a slump in business following 11 September. It has issued three profits warnings in the past 18 months and now needs to secure a three-year extension on the repayment of £221.6m of convertible bonds, or the rest of its £1.3bn of debt will be called in by the banks.

The deal will give bondholders a 21 per cent stake in the company and an improved annual interest rate of 7 per cent.

The company last week announced that 66 per cent of bondholders had given their support to the refinancing package. But it needs the support of 75 per cent before it can take the deal forward. MyTravel has said that most of its bankers and other creditors have already agreed the terms.

"Kazia took on the role of group finance director at a critical point for the company in November 2002 and has played a vital part in the refinancing that enables us to implement our turnaround plan," said Eric Sanderson, the chairman.

John Darlington will succeed Ms Kantor until a permanent replacement is found. He has been advising the company on its refinancing for the past few months and is known as a turnaround specialist. Mr Darlington has previously advised HP Bulmer.

Ms Kantor, who is a former finance director at Coats Viyella, was earning a basic salary of £380,000, and negotiations are going on over a settlement agreement.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Guru Careers: Communications Exec / PR Exec

£25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral