Tiphook launches hunt for chief executive

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TIPHOOK, the troubled transport leasing group, has engaged a firm of headhunters to find a new chief executive, writes John Murray.

The company has acknowledged that it needs to split Robert Montague's roles as chairman and chief executive to appease shareholders and lenders angry at the company's latest profits warning, which devastated the share price last week.

The group's bankers are reported to be sitting tight in advance of an extraordinary meeting on 25 October, at which shareholders will be asked to approve new borrowing limits.

The lenders are dealing with the company on an individual basis, according to City sources.

Meanwhile, Tiphook's dollar-denominated bonds are being heavily traded in New York at prices ranging between 71 and 77 per cent of face value. There has been speculation that the bondholders may group together to sue the company for misleading them at the time of the issues. But a bond market source said there were no signs of a syndicate being formed yet.