Ascot Holdings dodges collapse

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Ascot Holdings, the property, hotels and pubs group, has been saved from imminent collapse following agreement yesterday by the company's shareholders, bondholders and creditors to restructure £173m of debts.

Formerly known as Control Securities, the company was once run by the disgraced businessman Nazmu Virani, who is serving a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for his role in the BCCI affair. The company has reported losses since 1991 following the property market collapse.

The proposals accepted yesterday will eliminate negative assets of £25.7m and replace them with net assets in excess of £50m.

The issue of new shares will raise £27.3m, £15m will come from mezzanine finance and £70m in new loan facilities. Existing debts have been settled at discount to the outstanding liability.

The company, which reported a £6.9m loss earlier this year, last paid a dividend in 1991. In 1992 it made a loss of £192m.

Virani became the subject of a Serious Fraud Office investigation in 1991, which led to his conviction in May of this year for conniving in covering up BCCI's financial position from the bank's auditors.