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Mayflower goes into administration

Britain's automotive supplier and bus maker appointed Deloitte Touche as administrator last night, following the suspension of share trading.

Mayflower, which uncovered a £20m hole in its accounts and has failed to secure fresh finance for its c. £188m debts, appointed Deloitte as administrators yesterday, shortly after asking for trading in its shares to be suspended. A day earlier, its chief executive and finance director had resigned, and its chairman had announced his wish to retire when a replacement could be found. The firm's full-year 2003 results were due to be announced at an AGM later this month. Mayflower's interim chief executive is a company doctor from Deloitte rival PwC.

Mayflower Corporation itself, the two-factory Transbus International and Mayflower Vehicle Services were put in administration, while the group's energy systems division and its German and US-based automotive component operations escaped.

Mayflower's plight has given rise to anxiety at the TGWU, partly as its pension fund liabilities are set at about £25m, and it will be worrisome for MG Rover and Jaguar, to which Mayflower supplies body pressings. Deloitte will be contacting Mayflower's customers, suppliers and staff urgently.

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