March 19, 2018 / 1:23 PM / in 3 months

Boss of UK's Conviviality steps down after tax bill debacle

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - British drinks wholesaler Conviviality, which last week revealed it had neglected to allow for a 30 million pounds ($42 million) tax bill in its cash flow forecast, said on Monday its chief executive was stepping down. The firm, Britain’s largest franchised off-licence and convenience chain, said Diana Hunter would step down from the board with immediate effect but remain with the company “for a period of time” to help with a transition that will see non-executive chairman David Adams become executive chairman.

Hunter had been CEO since 2013.

Conviviality, whose franchisees operate more than 700 stores trading under the Bargain Booze and Wine Rack brands, has also warned on profit and cancelled its interim dividend.

It said on Friday it was considering raising new equity. Its shares remain suspended.

“The company is continuing to engage with stakeholders...and will provide a further update in due course,” it said. ($1 = 0.7110 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey, editing by Sarah Young)

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