Healthcare Locums unveils rescue plan


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The Independent Online

Healthcare Locums has unveiled a rescue package that the troubled medical recruitment company hopes will enable it to solve its difficulties.

The business has been in chaos since January, when founder and chief executive Kate Bleasdale was forced out after the discovery of accounting irregularities.

Ms Bleasdale denies any wrongdoing and is suing the company for wrongful dismissal, but its shares have been suspended ever since, as its management attempts to sort out its finances.

Yesterday, Healthcare Locums said its biggest shareholder, Toscafund, and a second investor, ACE, had agreed to invest more than £45m in the company.

The proposals would mean a dilution in the value of other shareholders' investments – new shares would be worth only 10p, compared with the 112p price prior to the company's suspension – which may prove to be a problem. Previous plans have been rejected by investors as overly dilutive.

But Healthcare Locums said that unless the scheme won approval at a shareholder meeting next month, the company would fall into insolvency.