Signet shake-up leaves ordinary shareholders with 17.5% stake

Signet, the former Ratner's jewellery business, announced its long-awaited capital restructuring yesterday in a shake-up that will leave existing ordinary shareholders with just 17.5 per cent of the company.

Signet said the capital reorganisation would reduce interest charges, improve liquidity and enable it to pay dividends on future profits. The H Samuel and Ernest Jones retailer has not paid a dividend since 1992 and does not expect to pay one in the current year. Signet's ordinary shares fell 6p to 30.5p.

The rebel shareholder Julian Treger, of UK Active Value, said he approved of the restructure in principle but would need to see the precise detail before giving it his full support. "We're glad they've announced a re- structure at last. We think it is now a very exciting company."

Signet's chairman, James McAdam, said the company's plans to convert all classes of shares into new ordinary shares were pitched at a level which the board thought would be acceptable to all investors.

Under the terms of the deal the nine existing classes of ordinary and preference shares will convert into 1.38 billion new shares. Dividend areas of pounds 164.5m owed to preference shareholders will be waived. Preference shareholders will then hold 82.5 per cent of Signet with ordinary shareholders holding the remainder. UK Active Value will have between 7 to 8 per cent.

If the capital reconstruction is approved, the group of rebel shareholders who sought a shake-up in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, would hold 35 per cent of the new group. They have said that would not act in concert and so under Takeover Panel rules would not be required to make an offer for the company.

However, the reconstruction needs to be approved by a 75 per cent majority of each class of share. James McAdam said he was "optimistic" that the terms would be approved. Emergency and class meetings will be held on 26 June.

The new share structure should boost earnings per share and lead to a re-rating. Mr Treger said that if the restructure was approved Signet could be valued at pounds 500m, making it a FTSE 250 company.

Signet also announced its full-year results yesterday, showing an 80 per cent leap in profits to pounds 45m. Operating profits were 20 per cent ahead at pounds 76.5m though there was a pounds 31.4m interest charge. Profits in the US rose by 17 per cent while the UK operations, H Samuel and Ernest Jones showed a 25 per cent profits improvement. Like-for-like sales were 12 per cent ahead at Ernest Jones but just 1.2 per cent up at H Samuel. In current trading Signet said same store sales were ahead of last year and in line with expectations.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power