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Merchant House issued shares without admitting them to AIM

Merchant House Group has revealed it issued shares representing 14 per cent of the company’s enlarged issue share capital without announcing the move or admitting the shares to trading on the Alternative Investment Market.

The parent firm of Merchant Capital temporarily suspended its shares last week and today revealed the suspension was triggered by the share-holding revelation.

In a statement to the stockmarket this morning, Merchant House says: “On March 28, 2012 the board became aware that between October 2011 and December 2011 652,333,333 ordinary shares in the company, representing 14.1 per cent of the company’s enlarged issue share capital, had been issued without having been announced or admitted to trading on AIM and therefore requested the suspension pending the outcome of an investigation by the board.”

It has emerged that the same number of new ordinary shares of 0.01 pence each were approved by the board on September, 27 last year.

Westward Consultants was issued with shares on two occasions, once with 208,333,333 shares on October 3 and once on November 1 with 250,000,000 shares.

The shares were issued on the instruction of Balfour Consultants in settlement of £500,000 of fees due for establishing a digital options platform, the creation of new funds, licence costs and the introduction of new assets under management for Merchant Capital.

The platform is due to be launched shortly.

Former Clarkson Hill executives Ron Pritchard and Michael Robinson were each issued with 50,000,000 shares on October 5 and 47,000,000 shares on December 20 which related to part-settlement of liabilities.

Clarkson Hill, which is in administration, was acquired by Merchant House in December 2010.

Merchant House has today applied for the new ordinary shares to be admitted to trading on AIM, which is expected to take place on or around April 10.

Merchant House has now requested the suspension of its shares be lifted, with trading in ordinary shares resuming at 12pm today.



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