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Merchant House cancels trading on Aim after funding failure

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Merchant House Group has cancelled trading on the Alternative Investment Market after the company failed to raise sufficient funding.

The group, which includes structured product business Merchant Capital and IFA arm Merchant House Financial Services, has had its shares suspended on Aim since April. At the time the company said it requested the temporary suspension pending a financial review into whether it had enough capital.

In the statement Merchant House says: “The company regrets to announce that despite considerable efforts by the board, the company has been unable to raise sufficient funding in time in order to restore trading on Aim in the company’s ordinary shares.”

Shares were originally suspended in March after the board became aware that 14 per cent of the firm’s enlarged share capital had been issued without being announced or admitted to trading on Aim. The shares were restored at the start of April before being suspended again later that month.

Merchant House says some investment agreements may now be at risk as they were conditional on the lifting of the Aim suspension.

It says: “The directors intend to enter into discussion with the funding parties to determine if this condition may be waived. There is no guarantee that these discussions will result in a satisfactory outcome but shareholders and creditors will be updated within the next few days.

“In the meantime the company will consider all the options open to it to preserve value for stakeholders.”

Merchant House announced in June it had agreed a funding injection of up to £2m from turnaround specialist Beia. The company has not ruled out a sale of Merchant House Financial Services in a bid to raise further capital.

The group posted an operating loss of £1.4m for the first six months of this year, following a £500,000 loss for the same period last year. Chris Day stepped down as chief executive last month, though remains on the board of Merchant Capital. Managing director James Keane assumed the chief executive role.

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