Control gains time from banks

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The Independent Online
CONTROL Securities, the property and leisure group whose shares have been suspended since last October, said it had agreed a standstill with its bankers until the end of September.

But it warned it would have to make 'substantial provisions' in its accounts for the year to March, meaning its results would be 'significantly worse' than in 1991, when it made a pounds 3.3m loss.

Control was built up by Nazmu Virani, who is facing charges of fraud in connection with the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International. He and his two brothers were removed from the board of Control in April.

Since then, it has been run by Sydney Robin, who was a non-executive director. It said yesterday it was seeking to 'strengthen the executive management and, with that management, to develop a strategy for the future of the group's operations.' Control is being advised by Hill Samuel.

Control also announced that it would convene a meeting of the holders of its pounds 79m of bonds on 17 August to vote on a resolution to defer the interest on its 1989 bonds, due last month, until 12 October. A further meeting will be held before that date.

The banks, including Bank of Scotland and Barclays, have provided further facilities to enable the group to continue trading, but Control warned that neither the standstill agreement nor the new facilities 'include provision for the payment of substantial non- trading liabilities, including interest . . . on the 1989 bonds.'

Details of current borrowing levels were not available yesterday. But at 31 March 1991, Control's net debt stood at pounds 231m compared with net assets then stated at pounds 293.5m, including pounds 386.6m of investment property and pounds 20.9m of trading property, which is likely to have fallen further in value.