Former Patisserie Valerie boss to take up top job

The chief executive and finance boss at embattled materials firm SIG have both left with immediate effect with some now suggesting the firm is a prime takeover target.

The company, which last month said underlying profit before tax for the year to 31 December 2019 would be around £42m, down from a potential £63m, has also moved its full year results announcement from 6 March to the second half of April.


This morning Sheffield-based SIG said Meinie Oldersma had left as chief executive, while Nick Maddock has also quit his role as chief financial officer.

Andrew Allner, non-executive chair, said change was needed at the top.

He added: "The board believes that it is time for a new leadership team, with skills in driving rapid operational performance improvements through strong customer relationships, excellence in customer service and creating highly engaged teams."

Steve Francis, who was brought in by high street cafe chain Patisserie Valerie to oversee its administration, has been named as the company’s new chief executive on an initial contract until the end of this year.

It has also appointed Kath Kearney-Croft interim chief financial officer with immediate effect. She only joined the company from camera and lighting equipment supplier Vitec Group last month.

But Cenkos analyst Kevin Cammack said the £2.7bn firm must now be a takeover target. He added: "Too many have tried and failed to resurrect SIG. For me it needs to subsumed into a bigger group and is probably on its knees now in terms of any defence."

The firm also gave an update on trading in the new financial year which repeated underlying pre-tax profit would be around £42m. The firm said it had been hit by slowing construction activity in the UK.

Shares at 1pm were down 18% to 68p.