TAKING STOCK

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The Independent Online
Shares in Helene were suspended yesterday at 7p as the clothes manufacturer said it had agreed to a proposed reverse takeover by Dyckhoff, a privately-run German retailer with about 30 stores. The deal, which is subject to due diligence, would mark the stock market return of textiles entrepreneur Harold Tillman, who recently won a four-year court battle to overturn his disqualification from being a company director.

Irish mineral explorer Ovoca is expected to announce it has secured an option on a 50 per cent interest in four large oilfields in western Siberia. The fields could contain proven and probable reserves of more than 550 million barrels. To fund the deal Ovoca is issuing 2.1 million shares of 2p each. Last night Ovoca's shares were quoted a penny lower at 15p.

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