Go-Ahead shares dented by Southeastern’s ‘breach of trust’
Shares in Go-Ahead Group closed sharply down last night after it had been revealed that the DfT was ending the Southeastern contract in the wake of the discovery that more than £25 million in taxpayers’ money had been wrongly retained by the operator. Transport secretary Grant Shapps described the revelation as a ‘breach of trust’, and said the DfT’s Operator of Last Resort would be taking control of Southeastern on 17 October, effectively renationalising it. Go-Ahead, which owns 65 per cent of Southeastern’s owner Govia, has apologised and said the money had been repaid to the DfT, but it has postponed the announcement of its trading results for the year ending July, which had been due tomorrow. The news of the deficit prompted a rapid fall in the value of Go-Ahead shares, which ended the day almost 25 per cent down at 769.50p. At one point during the afternoon the price had been even lower, at 758.50p, compared with 980p at the start of trading yesterday.