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Lighthouse attempts to reassure shareholders ahead of delisting vote

Allan Rosengren 480

Lighthouse has attempted to reassure shareholders that its management is not looking to take control of the group, ahead of a vote on its proposed de-listing from Aim.

Earlier this month, Lighthouse announced its intention to delist from Aim, citing a number of disadvantages it believed it was suffering due to its quoted structure.

The group intends to move to a public unquoted structure but requires the approval of 75 per cent of shareholders with a shareholder meeting set for July 31. A significant number of shareholders have raised their concerns about the delisting.

Paul Chase-Gardner, who has a 5.4 per cent stake, and Cavendish Asset Management senior investment manager Paul Mumford, who has a 5 per cent shareholding through his Aim fund, say they will vote against the plans. Julian Telling, who holds 5.14 per cent stake says the move is “not in the interests of shareholders”.

Allan Rosengren (pictured), the former joint chief executive who holds a 14.7 per cent stake, is not commenting on his voting intentions.

The Lighthouse board owns around 7 per cent of shares.

In an announcement to the market this morning, Lighthouse says: “Since the announcement on July 9 there has been some speculation that it is the intention of some or all of the group’s management to take control of the Company.  The board confirms that there is no such intention.”

The note to shareholders repeats the board’s arguments that the group’s perceived value based on its stock market listing is not a fair reflection of its true value and that the current negative sentiment towards IFA firms from investors is unlikely to change in the near term.

Lighthouse says if the delisting takes place it will set up a matched bargain arrangement with a stockbroker to allow shareholders to trade shares.

Addressing shareholder concerns about governance that have been expressed in the media, Lighthouse says the group will continue to hold regular shareholder meetings, maintain non-exec representation on the board and operate audit, remuneration and risk committees. Lighthouse also says it will look at the feasibility of restoring dividend payments, dependent on business performance.

Lighthouse Group chairman David Hickey says: “The plain truth is the lack of positive sentiment in the stock markets for IFA businesses.  For Lighthouse, at this time, there are no attractions to being on AIM, and too many disadvantages. 

“It is crucial that shareholders remember that Lighthouse operates in a highly regulated sector and the proposed delisting should be viewed differently to other businesses in unregulated sectors leaving the market. 

“Lighthouse will continue to maintain robust standards of corporate governance in addition to abiding by the stringent regulatory, governance and other obligations imposed by the FSA.”

Other shareholders include LV=, with 6.5 per cent, Friends Provident with 5.9 per cent, Skandia Life Assurance with 4.8 per cent and Kames Capital with 3.5 per cent. All declined to comment but Money Marketing understands Skandia will vote in favour of delisting.

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Can’t see anything in this for the shareholders.

    What credibility will the board have when this move fails ? As it surely will.

  2. So as shareholders we put our faith in these men in suits. Surely they know what they are doing? However in my opinion this seems like a plan they have had inmind for a long while. The share price has steadily dropped and they seem to have sat back and done nothing about this. Have actually spoken about doom and gloom about the past liabilities etc etc WHere was the Company promotion? They have blamed everyone but themselves about the dropping share price. Following the announcement the price dropped dramatically. They must have known this would happen? Where is the offer of my share of the 11 million of cash? Why would I want to back this motion? All I can see is that they benefit not me. I have called on other comment trails for the vote to be blocked and for this Chair and its Board to resign.

  3. Pretty sure Allan Rosengren the EX board member of Lighthouse and i believe not in favour of the de-listing lwould not want his picture below an article about today’s announcement from the current board! Bet it is removed by lunchtime

  4. Agree – why is Allan Rosengren’s picture above this article?

  5. Exasperated Me 24th July 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Lighthouse, Lifeboat… where do they dig up these names?

    Telling porkies is a regulatory offence, market manipulation, don’t think insider dealing works in these situations unless the board has information that nobody else has access to, and that includes AIM.

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