Call for Hoskins inquiry

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The Independent Online
DAVID SHAW, the maverick non-executive director of Hoskins Brewery, is calling for the Department of Trade and Industry to investigate recent events at the company, writes Robert Cole.

Questions raised by Mr Shaw, the Conservative MP for Dover, have scuppered a proposed takeover of Hoskins. The offer of 55p a share by Adam Page, former chairman of Midsummer Leisure, lapsed yesterday. Hoskins shares have been suspended since May.

Mr Shaw is concerned that shareholders and underwriters backing Mr Page's deal were not given appropriately comprehensive information.

As well as taking control of Hoskins, Mr Page proposed to put five night-clubs that he owned privately into the business. Mr Shaw is unsure about the valuations of those properties, and about information relating to them.

However, Mr Page said yesterday that the deal may still be completed. 'The proposal has not been dropped. We are negotiating with the Stock Exchange to get approval,' he said.

It emerged yesterday that Barrie and Robert Hoar, the chairman and an executive director of Hoskins, were eligible for pounds 75,000 each as compensation for loss of office if the deal succeeded.