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Network Data suspended from Aim following collapse of Lighthouse talks

Network Data has been temporarily suspended from Aim after Lighthouse earlier revealed it had abandoned talks over a potential takeover of advisers and some key staff.

A source close to the situation says Network Data’s bank, HBOS, blocked the deal when it failed to release security over the company by last week’s Friday afternoon deadline.

The source says HBOS believes it can get more money for the company than Lighthouse was offering.

In a stock market announcement today, Lighthouse Group says it has “discontinued all discussions with the board of Network Data Holdings concerning a potential transaction involving certain of Network Data’s assets and operations”.

Last month Network Data was suspended from carrying out regulated business by the FSA and appointed representatives were encouraged to transfer to Lighthouse by Network Data management.

Lighthouse executive chairman David Hickey says: “The board of Lighthouse would like to thank the board of Network Data and their colleagues for the professional way in which the potential transaction was approached by them and regrets that the necessary arrangements to conclude within the stipulated timeframe were not implemented.”

In a later stockmarket alert Network Data says: “The board of directors of Network Data announced on March 26 2009 that the company was pursuing approaches for its mortgage broking businesses.

“The board confirms that an offer had been made by Lighthouse Group and accepted by the group for the mortgage broking businesses during the course of business last week.

“However, the offer required approval from the group’s bankers to proceed to completion and this was not provided in time. The offer has now been withdrawn.

“Given the uncertainty surrounding the company’s financial position in light of the offer being withdrawn, the board of Network Data has requested a temporary suspension of trading in accordance with the Aim rules.”

The announcement says Network Data will continue to explore other possibilities for the company and further announcements will be made in due course.


FTSE rally fizzles

The FTSE 100 opened lower today at 4,238 as some of London’s equities lost their steam following news that US bank stress tests would be delayed.


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