Tiphook in pounds 50m call

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The Independent Online
TIPHOOK, the container-leasing company, is believed to be asking its bankers for up to pounds 50m of new money as the first stage in a refinancing plan that willneed the approval of the company's beleaguered shareholders, writes David Hellier.

Shares in Tiphook closed on Friday down 7p at 116p, as shareholders became nervous at the possibility of the equity in the company being diluted by refinancing.

The share price fall precedes tomorrow's shareholders' meeting, called to gain approval for an extension of the company's already high debt-to-equity ratio from 500 to 600 per cent.

The company needs a simple majority, which it is expected to achieve.

'Shareholders really have no choice,' said one analyst this weekend.

There is pressure on the company to make management changes, and it has already confirmed that it is looking for a chief executive, which will enable Robert Montague, the current chairman and chief executive, to split his role.

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