Small Talk: Ramsden trio sued over fundraising failure

Eden update - Keep an eye on SI - Mondas revival

Three business associates of the racehorse owner Terry Ramsden are being sued for £15m over the botched fundraising by Financial Development Corporation. FDC has begun legal proceedings claiming breach of contract and damages.

FDC, formerly called Hansard Communications after the public relations firm it has since sold to management, raised only £6m of the £11m it planned from a placing of new shares in the summer. It said at the time that three proposed investors had failed to stump up the promised cash. Mr Ramsden himself increased his stake in the company at the time, although he has since sold out entirely.

Mr Ramsden's appearance on the share register in July sent FDC shares soaring. The placing proceeds were to be used to fund the purchase by FDC of another of Mr Ramsden's companies, which owned a plot of land in Barbados for development as holiday apartments. Although FDC still has an option to buy Griffin, that purchase has now collapsed. Instead, FDC is a rich cash shell looking for a reverse takeover.

Eden update

For those few shareholders in Eden Research who made it to the natural pesticides group's shareholder meeting on Friday there was more detail than usual on the development of its products for treating Pierce's disease, which attacks vines, and soil parasites. But not nearly enough. We learnt, in answer to the questions printed here last week, that Thallo Eco, which will distribute products in California and perhaps the rest of the US, is a specially created company with no infrastructure of its own as yet. We also discovered some of the details of the financial arrangements behind the deal. But, in a laughably opaque phrase, we learnt only that Thallo Eco "has been established by people with the relevant experience in commerce and industry".

There was also no engagement with the allegations of Eden's former business partner, Reed Smith, who says a key product has failed its trials. Eden characterises Mr Smith as a man with a grudge and insists that trials against Pierce's disease are progressing well. As for the listing on AIM, promised since the new year, the controversy stoked by Mr Smith means that plans for the move up from Ofex have been delayed indefinitely.

Keep an eye on SI

Surgical Innovations, the Leeds-based designer and manufacturer of surgical instruments, is being circled by brokers keen to snatch the company away from its current adviser, Westhouse. SI knows it has to grow if it is to survive, since this is an industry dominated by the medical devices giants of the US. Much hope is pinned on its recently launched scissors for keyhole surgery, for which it has just signed a distribution deal in the Benelux countries. If a City charm offensive by the management combines with a new broker keen to bring acquisition opportunities to the company, then SI shares could be worth watching.

Mondas revival

At last, the end of the horrible spat between Tim Simon, the founder of Mondas, a City trading software company, and the board which ousted him as chairman and chief executive in August after nearly a decade of mounting losses and missed promises. He failed in an attempt to have himself reinstated to the board last week, a move which would have scuppered a carefully negotiated financial rescue package.

With this threat lifted, with the company focusing on less technologically ambitious software and with the latest trading news showing progress, Mondas could become interesting to speculators.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk