Shareholder rejects Campari liquidation

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The Independent Online
A row is about to break out over the recent decision to call in liquidators at Campari, the sports and leisure group.

The move, which came after the failure of plans for a capital injection from a private textile company, will be opposed by at least one substantial private shareholder at a meeting tomorrow to approve the appointment of Neville Kahn of Coopers & Lybrand as liquidator.

The shareholder claimed last week that secured loan stock holders in the company had pushed for the liquidation, while 1,000 small shareholders would see their money disappear.

He questioned who would be best served by this process. "Why was this route chosen? Will the loan stock holders get all their money back? There doesn't seem to be an explanation and I think there ought to be an explanation."

The leading investor in last year's pounds 2.3m rescue issue of convertible loan stock was the Hong Kong-based Wing Tai Exporters and menswear group Gieves, which is linked to Wing Tai. At the time, they were proposing to subscribe up to pounds 1.4m in the issue.

Seventy-five per cent of the votes controlled by those attending tomorrow's meeting are required for the liquidation to go ahead.

Around 52 per cent of the ordinary shares are in the hands of Wing Tai (29 per cent) and a company under the control of Paul Thompson, the chairman of Sanderson Electronics, a Sheffield-based computer support company, which owns 23 per cent.