Tadpole to raise pounds 2.3m for rescue

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The Independent Online
Tadpole Technology, the former and troubled Cambridge-based maker of lap-top computers, yesterday announced a rescue placing of shares and a rights issue, raising a total of pounds 2.26m.

The announcement of the cash-raising exercise yesterday accompanied news of a 50 per cent increase in losses to pounds 2.46m for the six months to the end of March.

Raising extra funds will be costly. The 20 million shares being placed and the one-for-five rights issue at 10p will cost the company pounds 250,000 in fees.

It warned that without the proposed fund-raising it would be unable to continue trading. Bernard Hulme, chief executive, intends to buy 500,000 shares in the placing and Graham Brown, a director, will buy 150,000.

Cost-saving measures have been introduced to reduce the company's break- even point, and it is also concentrating its efforts on selling key-board technology to the network computing industry.

The moves to get its finances on an even keel, though, are being made against a backdrop of plunging sales. In the half-year, turnover dived by 44 per cent to just pounds 7.3m.

Tadpole also plans to strengthen its boardroom. It is hunting for a non-executive chairman to replace Richard King, who told the board last August that he intended to step down in 1997.

Other changes have included the resignation of Peter Higgins, a non-executive director.