The chief executive and chief operating officer of Erinaceous have been put on gardening leave while they negotiated the terms of their resignations. Financial Times

Neil Bellis and Lucy Cummings have been under pressure from shareholders to resign from the board since September and face the prospect of being voted off at an extraordinary general meeting next month.

After failing to sell the company or take it private over the summer, Erinaceous has issued a series of profit warnings and said it was close to breaking its banking covenants.

Bellis and Cummings, his sister-in-law, are thought to be seeking payoffs in addition to their contractual rights.

However, the group’s shares have lost more than 95% of their value this year, making it difficult for the board to justify a sizeable compensation package to investors.

Erinaceous shares were unchanged yesterday at 20¼p, having fallen from more than 400p last year.