Facia in balance as talks continue

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The Independent Online
The future ownership of Facia, the retail empire controlled by Stephen Hinchliffe, remained uncertain last night after the company claimed it was in talks with several parties regarding possible deals.

The statement appears to contradict claims made by Texas American Group, a quoted US shell company, which says it has reached an agreement to acquire the assets and liabilities of Facia, which owns high street names including Sock Shop, Salisbury's, Saxone and Freeman Hardy Willis.

Though Facia confirmed talks have taken place with Texas American, it said the agreement "was not a done deal".

Facia stressed that it is also doing due diligence on Texas as well as vice versa. This appeared to leave the door open on a reverse takeover which would see Facia take control of Texas, enabling Mr Hinchliffe's group to gain a stock market listing in the US as well as access to much needed funds.

Texas is a shell company which has recorded no sales or profits for the past three years. Its chief executive is William Grosvenor, a London public relations consultant. "We have an agreed deal with Facia pending a valuation."

He added that if the deal goes through the company would seek to raise funds on the US stock market to invest in Facia. The plan is for Mr Hinchliffe to remain a shareholder and play a role in running the business.

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