Ross' extended offer snubbed
DAVID Ross has secured just two per cent more of the total shares in Cosalt, the Grimsby-headquartered company he chairs, having extended the offer deadline after taking control.
Mr Ross, the mobile phone entrepreneur, made the move to save the crisis-hit firm from the administrators, but his revised 0.2p offer wasn’t well received by private shareholders.
He now faces the tough task of convincing some alienated investors to back his intention to take the company private, de-listing from a 40-year stay on the London Stock Exchange, at a general meeting to be held soon.
Now the offer has been withdrawn, and the Telegraph understands Mr Ross, pictured below, will be unlikely to pay any more to obtain a larger holding, with his mind and finances firmly focused on ensuring the company, which operates in offshore oil, gas, renewables and high-protection workwear, continues to trade.
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It is believed 75 per cent of the shareholders’ support is required for the former Great Grimsby Coal Salt and Tanning company to turn private, a position in which Mr Ross feels would be far easier, and affordable, to turn round. It has been described as unworkable to have a company the size of the much-reduced Cosalt trading as a publicly limited company.
Should the move to take it private succeed, shares would still be able to be traded, with a match bargain operation established with a broker pairing up buyers and sellers, and shareholders would continue to receive an annual report.
With a pension deficit and a large debt burden, returns would not be likely in the short term though, the Telegraph understands.