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New Star share suspension request declined after bank talks

New Star attempted to temporarily suspend its ordinary shares this morning following news that it is in “advanced and constructive” discussions with its bank syndicate.

However, the UKLA chose to decline this request and by 10.25am, New Star shares had fallen 67.86 per cent to 4.5p per share.

The asset manager says a further announcement will be made when the outcome of discussions with its bank syndicate is known but reports suggest the firm is negotiating a debt for equity swap with the banks.

Meanwhile Aberdeen Asset Management refused to rule out a bid for the company as it announced its final results today. Chief executive Martin Gilbert says: “We will continue to manage the business tightly, but we also remain keen to take advantage of relevant growth opportunities that may emerge during this turbulent period.”

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Ben Yearsley says: “Until New Star sorts everything out with its banks the shares will be volatile. It is possible it will go private as the market-cap is now meaningless as the value is now in the £20-30m bracket, where as the debt, which is the crucial figure, stands at £230-£240m.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “It would not be a surprise if John Duffield bought the remaining equity. Transparency is not a bad thing but going in-house gives him more time to get things in order.”


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