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Pescanova SA said its chairman resigned Wednesday after an outside accounting audit claimed financial irregularities at the multinational fishing giant, one of Spain’s most well-known companies.

The resignation of 62-year-old Manuel Fernández de Sousa caps a drama that started in February when Pescanova said it faced liquidity problems and was unable to submit its 2012 financial accounts, prompting a fraud probe by an investigative judge. Pescanova sought protection under Spanish bankruptcy law in April, and the court stripped Fernández of operating authority. He retained the chairman’s post until he stepped down Wednesday amid pressure that followed last week's release of a forensic audit by KPMG of the company’s finances.

The judicial investigation into Fernández for allegedly falsifying accounts continues. Fernández, a son of the company's founder, didn’t respond to requests for comment on Wednesday. He has acknowledged that Pescanova made errors in how it kept its books, but has said no bad faith was involved.

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