Barclays agrees to give Harland breathing space

BARCLAYS BANK is believed to have agreed to extend the borrowing facilities it provides to Harland Simon after a meeting with the troubled control systems group yesterday, writes Paul Durman.

Barclays plunged Harland into crisis last week by refusing to release the proceeds of the pounds 8.1m sale of its Vickery's subsidiary. The bank was concerned about Harland's overdraft which, at around pounds 15m, is roughly twice the size of its last declared net assets.

Harland was forced to ask the Stock Exchange to suspend trading in its shares, 'pending a clarification of the company's financial position'. Harland may become one of the few companies to come back from such an announcement, which is often followed by the appointment of receivers or administrators. Barclays may continue to hang on to the proceeds but will roll forward the existing facilities.

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