Derek Pain: Lighthouse's Aim exit plan is simply dim
No Pain, No Gain
Saturday 21 July 2012
Lighthouse, a wealth-management firm that was once a constituent of the no pain, no gain portfolio, is planning to abandon the stock market and become an unquoted vehicle. Shareholders are asked to gather at the company's City offices later this month to approve the move. I hope that it is rejected.
Any out-of-town shareholder will have to be up at the crack of dawn or book an expensive hotel room in the Olympic Games period if they want to be present for the 9am meeting. I suspect many will use their proxy votes rather than struggle to attend. It seems to be a frequent occurrence in investment life these days that when a controversial decision is proposed the resultant meeting is called for a difficult time or held in an out-of-the-way venue.
David Hickey, the chairman and 4 per cent shareholder, maintains that cancellation of the Aim quote is "in the best interests of the company and its shareholders".
Well, Lighthouse shares have taken a knock since the off-market proposal became known, at times losing almost half their value.
Clearly Mr Hickey's plan has disadvantaged shareholders. And Lighthouse has not made arrangements for any alternative investment platform. Instead of moving to one of the fringe markets – or creating a matched bargains facility for any investor who wants to buy or sell – the directors are "to explore whether it is possible to set up a matched bargains arrangement". Surely such a platform, enabling shareholders to deal, should already be in place.
The reasons advanced for deserting the stock market are familiar. They include the group's low profile, lack of trading in the shares, the price (4.88p before the announcement) and the time and cost of maintaining an Aim presence. The problems besetting the financial community are also cited.
There is no doubt that trading circumstances have changed since Lighthouse arrived at the turn of the century. The shares have not performed. Once as high as 60p, they were sold at 7p last year.
Mr Hickey said Lighthouse has not issued any shares since 2008. Then it splashed out £44m buying a rival group for £12.6m in cash and shares. Some options were also satisfied that year.
Although Lighthouse has been an appalling investment, the company is profitable and pays dividends. I realise it faces an uncertain future, but its action is a slap in the face for shareholders who have stuck with the shares.
It is interesting that the move requires 75 per cent of the votes to be cast in favour. The directors have only 7.1 per cent and former director Allan Rosengren is the biggest stakeholder with 14.7 per cent.
As readers are aware, I invest in portfolio shares. When they are sold, I – depending on my circumstances at the time – sometimes hang on to my own holding. I regret not selling Lighthouse when the portfolio unloaded, but at least I can vote against this astonishing proposal. I hope others, in this so-called shareholders' spring, do so as well.
From a former constituent to existing participates. Animalcare and Hargreaves Services both issued trading updates that made little difference to earlier profit warnings, and stockbroker Shore Capital decided the shares of the Booker cash and carry chain were too high and said "sell". My advice remains that investors who followed the portfolio into the stock should sell half their stake.
The other constituent making news is, of course, G4S, the security group that is – or was – responsible for the Olympics. It seems the group will suffer another financial hit following its Olympian misadventure. Last year, it lost some £50m on its abandoned bid for ISS. There have been stockbroker suggestions that the shares were heading for 350p. I suspect such comments have been quietly withdrawn and any new targets will be much less inspiring.
The portfolio paid 264p for its shares; they fell to around 220p in the ISS débâcle. Just how well G4S survives the obvious damage from this latest trauma remains to be seen. There seems little point in selling now but I may have to consider it.
Will your credit card rewards be scrapped following new EU rules on charges?
Overdue tax returns: You have until 30 April to get last year's forms in or face additional fines
What would happen if you put a statistician in a casino with £1m?
Simon Read: 'The fight must go on over equality on expat pensions'
Pension freedoms: How to deal with cold calls from scammers
- 1 Student jailed for hacking University of Birmingham computers to improve his grades
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...
£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
Day In a Page
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B, subject to change of use permissions.
A former period coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
This four-bedroom home has exposed brick chimneys and a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining - the doors open to the patio and garden.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
A boutique mews house, set around a central courtyard, with three bedrooms and a private roof terrace
A four-bedroom farm-conversion with three bathrooms and two reception rooms