3DM shares suspended amid FSA investigation

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Shares in 3DM Worldwide, the controversial AIM-listed company that claims to have invented a way of making plastic as strong as steel, were suspended yesterday as the Financial Services Authority investigated trading in its shares.

The company has come under sustained attack from short-sellers and internet tipsters alleging it issued misleading statements and failed to disclose a big share sale by a company connected with Ken Brooks, 3DM's chairman.

Mr Brooks denies all the allegations, but the company requested the suspension of trading in its shares.

It is understood the FSA, which has responsibility for preventing market abuse, became involved last week. The London Stock Exchange, responsible for regulating AIM, has also contacted 3DM for information. And Grant Thornton, 3DM's advisers, are conducting their own investigation into the accuracy of the company's statements. Some institutional shareholders are said to have demanded an FSA investigation into the actions of the short-sellers.

The Independent revealed on Friday that 3DM's US partner was warning of potential delays to its most advanced new product, something that was not mentioned in the company's bullish results statement last week. A company statement yesterday said: "The directors note the recent press comment and other speculation concerning a number of matters relating to the company. The board believes it is in the best interests of shareholders to seek a temporary suspension of the company's securities pending a full response."

The shares were suspended at 55p. They have halved in value since the beginning of this month, when allegations against the company began circulating on the internet.

3DM has already licensed its revolutionary plastics technology to a string of companies.