Imprint issues third warning as chief quits

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The Independent Online

The chief executive of the recruitment services company Imprint has quit the group and launched a takeover bid for the head-hunting division he set up in 2001.

Imprint, which was the first recruitment start-up to list on the Alternative Investment Market, announced yesterday that Brian Hamill had resigned with immediate effect. No official reason was given for his departure.

It added he had made an indicative offer for Wood Hamill, which effected a reverse takeover of Imprint in 2001 before subsequently listing, and Imprint Search and Selection.

The company said it had promoted from within to replace him, appointing Robert Thesiger "to deliver the performance and shareholder returns it believes the group is capable of". Mr Thesiger was previously the group's chief operating officer in Europe and chief executive of its Morgan McKinley business. Analysts backed the appointment, saying Mr Thesiger was well respected, and the move was a step forward.

Imprint also released a bleak trading update, saying its results for September were "materially below the board's expectations," its third profits warning this year. Shares have spiralled from 293.5p in February and fell a further 31 per cent yesterday to 82.25p.