Shares in Melville suspended

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Melville Group, the exhibition fitter, were suspended at 4.5p yesterday as the company said it was in discussions about the sale of a substantial part of its business, writes Heather Connon.

Melville, floated at 120p a share in October 1988, has lost more than pounds 20m in the two years to last June, partly because of pounds 18.6m of charges relating to the withdrawal of its property business. That left it with net liabilities of pounds 4m at the end of June 1993, the most recent accounts available, while its borrowings had soared to pounds 11.4m.

The suspension came as Britannia Life Assurance, landlord of Melville's head office at Brentwood, Essex, lodged a writ in the High Court in London, demanding payment of pounds 42,460 for rent for the quarter to the end of March. A company spokesman said a cheque had been sent within the past few days. Melville is half- owned by Lowe Finance, a Swiss investment advisory group.