Titaghur delisting challenge fails

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The Independent Online
SHAREHOLDERS in Titaghur, the controversial company that runs jute mills in India, have failed in their attempt to obtain a judicial review of the Stock Exchange's decision to cancel the group's stock market listing.

Titaghur lost its quote in December 1990 when the Stock Exchange decided that the company's heavily qualified accounts provided insufficient financial information.

A Stock Exchange spokeswoman said the High Court's ruling meant that shareholders had no right under domestic law to challenge the exchange's delisting decisions.

However, the court was unable to decide whether shareholders had a right to challenge the decision under European law, and has referred the question to the European Court of Justice. The Stock Exchange intends to appeal against this referral.

The spokeswoman said it was still open for the company to challenge the delisting decision through the courts, but Titaghur had not yet done so.

One of the two shareholders who applied for a judicial review was Leonard Brealey, brother of Titaghur's chairman, Reg Brealey.

The Stock Exchange and the Crown Prosecution Service attempted to bring insider dealing charges against Reg Brealey but offered no evidence when the case came to court last year. The trial judge described the case against him as lamentable and criticised the prosecution's 'appalling catalogue of omissions'.

Len Bayliss, a Titaghur shareholder and spokesman, said he expected Mr Brealey to continue the fight to regain a London listing. The company is pursuing a capital restructuring plan, which involves the issue of 107,000 shares at pounds 4, followed by a one-for-one rights issue at pounds 1 and a one-for-four scrip issue.

Titaghur's shares soared from pounds 1.25 to pounds 16.88 after Mr Brealey took over in the late 1980s. Titaghur had accumulated retained losses of pounds 48m earlier this year.