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Rosengren: Lighthouse should scrap delisting or make cash offer

Allan Rosengren 480

Former Lighthouse joint chief executive Allan Rosengren says Lighthouse should shelve plans to delist from Aim or make a cash offer to shareholders.

Earlier this month, Lighthouse announced its intention to delist but has met with opposition from shareholders. The firm needs 75 per cent of shareholder votes in order to delist.

Rosengren (pictured), who left Lighthouse in October last year, has the highest shareholding with 14.7 per cent.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Rosengren says: “The board of directors of a business that has gone through the process of becoming quoted and, in doing so, sought external private and institutional investors… owes it to those shareholders to continue to operate as a listed entity, or make a sensible cash offer for their shares.”

Lighthouse yesterday attempted to reassure shareholders that its management is not looking to take control of the group, ahead of the vote on delisting on July 31.

The Lighthouse board owns around 7 per cent of shares.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Rosengren says: “I feel that shareholders and other stakeholders should draw their own conclusions based on the information presented by the board of Lighthouse.”

Cavendish Asset Management senior investment manager Paul Mumford, who owns 5 per cent shares in Lighthouse through his Aim fund, says: ““Allan’s intervention demonstrates the credibility of the rebel case, given his previous position as joint chief executive and his extensive experience with and knowledge of the business, as well as the wider industry.

“The current management is looking ever more isolated in their stance that delisting is in the best interests of the company.”

Paul Chase-Gardner, who has a 5.4 per cent stake, says: “This is not an attractive offer for shareholders. I think it is an attempt by the board to slip it off the market and free up cash. I will absolutely vote against it.”

ShareSoc, the trade body for individual investors, has also urged smaller investors to vote against the move.

Julian Telling, who holds 5.14 per cent, says: “It is not in the interests of shareholders. As a public company there is a great deal of transparency, being listed is in the best interests of shareholders and advisers.”

The Lighthouse board owns around 7 per cent. Chairman David Hickey says: “We remain confident in putting this to the shareholders.”

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 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Come on chaps, do the maths. Abandon the de-listing attempt and salvage whatever credibility that remains.

  2. Anyone with an ounce of sense will follow Allan’s recommendation to vote against de-listing. He is an honourable and knowledgeable man.

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