PCI chief resigns during demerger

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The Independent Online
ROBERT Wolsey, chairman and chief executive of Pittencrieff Communications (PCI), has resigned mid-way through his firm's demerger from its oil production sister company, writes Robert Cole.

Pittencrieff, the UK-based production company, and PCI said: 'Mr Wolsey has resigned from the boards of both companies and all their subsidiaries, in order to spend more time with his family and to pursue other business interests.'

Michael Munroe, chairman of Pittencrieff, refused to elaborate on the reasons for Mr Wolsey's departure.

Pittencrieff and PCI - a US- based mobile communications firm - announced plans to demerge in January. Pittencrieff floated a 46 per cent share in PCI on Nasdaq last summer, realising pounds 46m.

The proceeds of the float helped Pittencrieff expand pre-tax profits for the half year to 30 June from pounds 2.2m to pounds 15m.

Earlier this year, Pittencrieff announced plans to demerge its communications business and raise money. These were to be voted on at a special shareholder meeting next month. The funds are being raised to purchase pounds 25m worth of oil and gas assets in Texas.

Two weeks ago Pittencrieff said the timetable for the demerger and capital raising was to be delayed, possibly until the end of June. Mr Munroe said: 'The demerger process continues at a fast pace.'

Mr Wolsey's tasks have been split. Terry Heneaghan, chief executive of Pittencrieff, will replace Mr Wolsey as chairman on a temporary basis. Mr Munroe said the search for a successor had started and an American would probably be appointed.

Mr Wolsey's chief executive responsibilities will be taken over by Warren Harkins, a PCI director.

The shares dropped from 347p to 329p on the news but rallied to close at 336p, a fall of 11p on the day.