City File: New Year's Eve shareholder meetings

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THREE companies, property group Stanhope, Millwall Holdings and Strategem, are this year choosing to face their shareholders on New Year's Eve. All three claim force majeure, stoutly denying any unseasonal attempt to guarantee a lousy turn-out among their hungover owners.

Struggling Stanhope, 20p against 39p earlier this year, is doing so without even sending shareholders a set of current accounts, because it wants to tie up its desperately needed new banking agreements first. Without the agreements, the accounts would face the risk of a 'going concern' qualification from its auditors.