Tesco is facing legal action from shareholders in the aftermath of its accounting scandal as another senior director exits the supermarket giant.
US law firm Scott+Scott claims Tesco’s profit overstatement last year caused a “permanent destruction of value to shareholders.”
The firm has already filed a lawsuit against the grocer in the US and accused it of misleading investors.
Bosses at Scott+Scott revealed they are now in “active discussions” with institutional shareholders in the UK and Europe with a view to filing a claim.
Scott+Scott managing partner David Scott said: “International institutions asked us to find a way to bring a claim in the UK which they can join.”
Scott+Scott will fund a UK-based law firm to represent the group, known as Tesco Shareholder Claims Limited. A claim could be made depending on how much support is mustered.
It comes after Tesco admitted that it had over-stated profits by £263m in September last year.
A boardroom re-shuffle has taken place since the accounting scandal and the man who oversaw those changes, senior independent director Patrick Cescau, has now quit the grocer.
Former Unilever boss Cescau, who was instrumental in the search for a new chairman, will retire from the board on April 7 following six years as non-executive director.
He is credited with leading the search for new Tesco chairman John Allan, who replaced Sir Richard Broadbent after he stepped down following the grocer’s £263m profit overstatement.
He is also understood to have played an instrumental role in the ousting of former Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke.
Allan said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Patrick for his immense contribution to the business over the past six years, and I wish him well in his future ventures. We will be sorry to see him leave.”
Other recent moves
The Tesco board has been considerably shaken up in recent weeks with Cescau’s departure following news that Gareth Bullock was retiring from the main board.
At the same time Tesco appointed Unilever’s Byron Grote, who worked alongside new Tesco boss Dave Lewis at the FMCG giant, to the board.
The move came a week after fellow non-executive directors Jacqueline Tammenoms Bakker and Liv Garfield left the board.