Public Network goes into liquidation

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The Independent Online

The internet kiosk business Public Network admitted the game was up as it moved to put the company into liquidation after failing to raise fresh funding. The business, which is based in Kingston upon Thames, supplies internet kiosks which are installed in pubs, hotels, coffee bars and convenience stores.

The directors of the company said they had been trying to raise finance over the past few weeks "in order for the group to continue trading". But at a board meeting on Monday, the directors conceded it was unlikely that enough money could be raised quickly enough to ensure the company's survival.

"The directors therefore resolved to put the company into creditors' voluntary liquidation and to instruct the directors of the subsidiary companies to do the same," it said. It is unclear how much cash Public Network needed to raise to carry on trading.

No one at the business would comment on the situation yesterday.

Shares in Public Network, which are listed on the Alternative Investment Market, were suspended yesterday "pending clarification" of its financial position, ahead of the announcement. The company's broker, Seymour Pierce, had resigned in April while its chairman, Alan Grace, had resigned in May although he remains on the board as a non-executive director.

Public Network is the latest AIM-listed company to get into difficulty. At the beginning of the month, a record 13 companies were suspended from trading on AIM after they failed to get their financial results published on time.

The London Stock Exchange said 12 of the 13 companies were suspended for missing the six-month deadline for filing 12-month figures, while one company was suspended for missing the three-month deadline for filing its six-month figures.

Since many companies have a September or December year-end, they have to publish six-month and 12-month figures by the end of June. That is why shares in more companies than normal are suspended from trading on 1 July every year. This time last year, nine companies were suspended from trading on AIM. Among those on the list were World Travel Holdings and the London-based delivery business Room Service.

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