Trading in shares for the Go-Ahead Group is likely to be suspended in the New Year, following its admission that “serious errors” were made in the running of Southeastern, which was stripped of its franchise in October.
The Southeastern franchise had been run by Govia (a joint venture between Go-Ahead and Keolis) since 2006, before it was transferred to the Government’s Operator of Last Resort following a failure to declare and repay more than £25 million worth of taxpayer funding.
Having examined the findings of an independent review, Go-Ahead Group issued a statement on December 9 in which it apologised for failing to notify the Department for Transport of these overpayments.
It said: “The review has found that serious errors were made by London & South Eastern Railway (LSER) with respect to its engagement with the DfT over several years. In particular, the Group accepts that, by failing to notify the DfT of certain overpayments or monies due to the DfT, LSER breached its contractual obligations of good faith contained in the franchise agreements. Accordingly, the Group has apologised to the DfT.”
The Group added that it expected to pay a fine to the DfT, although it did not yet know how much that would be. According to the statement, this will result in a delay to the publication of the Group’s financial results for the year ending July 3 2021.
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