DTI seeks ban on trust director

The dramatic collapse of the Pierre Victoire restaurant chain has returned to haunt one of its former directors who faces a government-imposed ban on sitting on any more company boards.

The Department of Trade and Industry is seeking to disqualify Bryan Rankin, a former non-executive of Pierre Victoire, from his seat on the board of the property fund Caledonian Trust.

The Edinburgh-based company yesterday said it had "noted" the DTI's intentions, adding that it would review whether to ask Mr Rankin to step down as non-executive director. "[We] will make a further announcement if appropriate," it added.

Four other former Pierre Victoire directors have already been banned from holding any further directorships, including the chain's multi-millionaire founder Pierre Levicky.

Mr Rankin's disqualification would be an unusual step, however, because as a non-executive director he was absolved from any direct day-to- day financial involvement.

The downfall of Pierre Victoire, also based in Edinburgh, was one of Scotland's most high-profile business failures. Launched by Mr Levicky in 1988, the chain rapidly expanded to more than 100 outlets. It lasted just one decade before collapsing under a mountain of debt.

The DTI case against Mr Rankin is due to be heard in October.

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