Press Release 101 – ShareSoc Requests Investigation into the Affairs of Blancco Technology Group
ShareSoc (the UK Individual Shareholders Society) is requesting the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) to investigate certain issues concerning Blancco Technology Group plc (BLTG), an AIM listed software company specialising in data erasure.
Shareholders in the company have been financially devastated by the collapse in the share price following the reporting of several accounting issues at the company. As a result the share price has fallen from a peak of 308p in March 2017 to 72p at the time of writing. The company also had to undertake an emergency share placing in May 2017 to strengthen the balance sheet which diluted shareholders’ interests.
The issues relate primarily to:
- The restatement of the financial results for year ending June 30 2016, increasing the loss by £1.5 million and the reversal of two contracts, totalling £2.9 million booked as revenue during June 2017.
- The apparent failure of the audit of the 2016 accounts by KPMG to discover the errors in revenue recognition.
- The terms of the vesting of an executive Stock Appreciation Right, the timing of a disposal of shares under the scheme and the disclosure of payments to the former CEO, Patrick Clawson, who has now left the company.
- The role of executive managers, the company board, the Audit Committee and the auditors in these matters and the apparent reluctance of the board of directors to take action on these issues.
Shareholder Roger Lawson had this to say on this subject: “This appears to be yet another case where auditors failed to verify that the accounts of the company, and in particular the revenue reported, were accurate. This is a repeated problem with software/IT companies (Redcentric and the notorious case of Globo are other examples). There should at least be an investigation of the audits that took place at Blancco.”
ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight said, “As a general point, issues such as these should be investigated quickly, transparently and robustly. We need to establish a culture where those who fail in their responsibilities are held to account – where they are visibly punished as a deterrent and as a warning for directors, auditors, etc, to make sure they do their jobs properly. We need to ensure all UK listed companies follow high standards of corporate governance.
Affected shareholders can register their interest here: https://www.sharesoc.org/campaigns/blancco/