Findel Advances 7.2% After Saying Keith Chapman Steps Down as Chairman

Findel Plc, a home-shopping and educational-supplies company, rose as much as 7.2 percent in London trading after the company said Keith Chapman will step down as chairman and director, effective immediately.

Chapman will be replaced by David Sugden, Burley-in- Wharfedale, England-based Findel said in a Regulatory News Service statement today. Sugden was a former chief executive of Geest Plc and chairman of BPP Holdings Plc.

Chapman's departure follows the company's announcement on March 29 that accounting irregularities may cut last year's profit by 5 million pounds ($7.6 million). Findel is reviewing accounting entries in the education unit, which "appear not to be properly substantiated," the company said then.

Today's changes follow a review announced in July to determine the company's "appropriate structure," Findel said in the statement.

"There was a need for change," said John Stevenson, an analyst with KBC Peel Hunt who has a "hold" recommendation on Findel. "It's about delivering on the promises of the past few years."

Last year, Findel suspended its dividend to save cash and in August it raised about 81 million pounds to pay down debt, expand home shopping and combine five warehouses into one.

Findel gained 1.75 pence to 26 pence at 9:56 a.m. in London. The shares have dropped 25 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 127.3 million pounds.

Chapman held almost 30.2 million Findel shares as of August 2009, according to Bloomberg data.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Altaner at daltaner@bloomberg.net

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