Lonrho rights flop gives Bock 19%

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The Independent Online
DIETER BOCK, the German property developer, has become the largest shareholder in Roland 'Tiny' Rowland's international trading conglomerate Lonrho following the closure of Lonrho's pounds 181m rights issue, writes John Moore.

Through the commitment of Mr Bock's business interests to underwrite nearly half of the 200 million- share issue, Mr Bock holds nearly 19 per cent of Lonrho's equity, including a personal holding of 43.5 million shares that Mr Rowland agreed to sell to Mr Bock last month for pounds 50m. Mr Rowland retains 45.5 million shares, on which Mr Bock has an option.

In accordance with Lonrho's own expectations the rights issue was only lightly taken up by other shareholders - only 0.7 per cent of the 198.6 million shares on offer.

Mr Bock has yet to announce whether he intends to play any executive role in Lonrho.

Next month Lonrho is expected to announce a big profit slump. At the time of the rights announcement it said it expected pre-tax profits for the year ended last September of pounds 79m compared with pounds 205m.

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