Chair and two other board members step down after ‘related party issues’

Inland Homes is set to reappoint founder Stephen Wicks to its board after the firm this morning said its chair and two other directors had resigned.

The troubled South-east housebuilder announced in a market update this morning that chair Simon Bennett and board members Carol Duncomb and Brian Johnson, formerly the boss of housing association Metropolitan, have all resigned.

The update said the trio stood down after the rest of the board was not informed of issues which may be treated as ‘related party transactions’ under stock exchange rules. Under disclosure rules, firms must issue notification without delay of certain transactions with ‘related parties’. It said it will make a further announcement in due course.

stephen-wicks Inland Homes

Inland founder Stephen Wicks is due to return to the firm just six months after leaving

Inland said founder Stephen Wicks, who himself resigned just six months ago on the announcement of a major profit warning, is to be drafted back in to the firm as the resignations would leave it with less than the minimum number of directors under its own articles.

The existing chair Simon Bennett will technically remain on the board for a maximum of two weeks to allow the firm to draft in an extra board member.

If the appointment takes longer than two weeks, the board would be classed as only having a single director in breach of its own rules, leading to a suspension of the company’s shares. However Inland said it “considers this to be an unlikely scenario”.

Inland said: “The Board is pleased to confirm its intention to re-appoint one of the original founders and former CEO, Stephen Wicks to the Board as soon as possible following due diligence checks, as to which a further announcement will be made in due course.”

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The move is the latest chapter in a torrid period for the £182m-turnover regeneration specialist. Last September it warned that it would make a loss of around £37m for the year. However in January it revealed this figure had ballooned to more than £90m.

Wicks announced his retirement last September following the profit warning, but his replacement, former Galliard boss Don O’Sullivan quit in January just over a month into the job.

The firm, which yesterday delayed publication of its annual results, last month announced it had secured agreement from two if its banks to waive covenant breaches to allow it to continue trading.