Lanica to stay suspended

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The Independent Online
Lanica Trust, the investment trust vehicle of Andrew Regan, has failed to resolve the problems with the Stock Exchange which have prevented the group's shares being relisted, despite publishing long-delayed results yesterday. After rising 10 times over four months, the shares were suspended in February at pounds 19.50 just ahead of it emerging that Lanica's Galileo associate planned a pounds 1.2bn bid for the Co-operative Wholesale Society.

The group said the suspension would be continued until there was a "resolution" to the private prosecution brought against Mr Regan and his associates over the alleged theft of confidential CWS documents and a Serious Fraud Office investigation into a pounds 2.4m payment made by Hobson, a company formerly run by Mr Regan.

A spokesman for the Stock Exchange said yesterday: "We are still in discussions with the company about these matters. There are a number of things to sort out." He refused to specify what a resolution of the matters would involve, but the company does not expect great difficulties lie ahead.

A representative said: "They are very, very confident that both the private prosecution and the SFO thing will not go anywhere." The SFO has yet to make contact with anyone connected with Lanica.

The comments came as Lanica, formerly called New Guernsey Securities Trust, revealed that pre-tax profits of pounds 586,000 in 1995 had turned into losses of pounds 397,000 last year.

The figures were hit by the decision to write off the entire pounds 602,000 investment in Galileo, which the liquidator's latest report shows still has net assets of pounds 7.48m out of the original pounds 9.6m injected into the company by its backers.

Mr Regan said they would "continue to examine investment opportunities which, over time, will provide our shareholders with substantial potential for capital growth".