Forfaiting agrees £31m takeover

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The Independent Online

London forfaiting, the financial services group that has been up for sale since September last year, said it had agreed a near £31m offer from FIMBank.

FIMBank, a trade finance bank listed on the Maltese stock exchange, is offering 29.5p a share for London Forfaiting shares, which were trading as low as 13.5p the day before the group put itself up for sale.

London Forfaiting was formed in 1984 to provide financial services in connection with overseas trade. It was floated in London at a price of 160p a share 15 years ago but was hit by the crises in the emerging markets which began in 1997. Those crises, which affected trade in Russia and Asia, knocked the group's share price which, since 1997, has regularly traded at a discount to net assets.

London Forfaiting's board decided last year to try to find a suitable banking or international finance partner that could provide funding support for the growth of its business.

FIMBank already has irrevocable acceptances from directors and shareholders representing 37 per cent of the shares. London Forfaiting has also agreed to pay a £310,000 break fee to FIMBank if the offer fails to go through.