Shares tumble as accounting irregularities are uncovered in the support service group's industrial services business

Support Services group Interserve has suspended six senior staff members after discovering accounting irregularities in its industrial services business.

The irregularities, which are understood to cover a period of at least five years, were uncovered during an internal restructuring. Interserve believes correcting the issue will mean a £25m reduction in net assets in the group’s half year results.

The stock market reacted badly to the news, knocking 15% off the value of the company as shares fell 54p to 302p.

KPMG and Linklaters are now undertaking an independent review of the accounts, and will report their findings to the Audit Committee.

In a statement, Interserve said: “At this point, no conclusions can be drawn as to the timeframe nor results of the forensic and strategic reviews. These reviews may, however, lead to further restructuring charges. The group has informed its banks and will keep them abreast of developments.”