Water Hall reprieve

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The Independent Online
Bankers have thrown a lifeline to the heavily-indebted Water Hall Group, formerly known as Starmin, writes Magnus Grimond.

Edward Weiss, chairman of the quarrying to landfill group, who is facing a call for his removal from the dissident director Raschid Abdullah, revealed yesterday that the group's banks had agreed to extend borrowing facilities for a further year beyond their expiry date on 17 January.

The group's balance sheet at the end of 1994, the latest date for which accounts are available, showed an accumulated deficit of pounds 29.1m, and debts of pounds 7.6m, supported by shareholders' funds of pounds 539,000. In a letter sent to shareholders yesterday, Mr Weiss said the board "remain confident that the continuing improvement in the group's operating profit indicated in my interim statement has continued into the second half of 1995".

In September, the company announced that losses of pounds 1.69m had reversed into profits of pounds 101,000 in the six months to June.

Mr Weiss and Stuart Lander, chief executive, joined the board last year to put in place a recovery strategy following a refinancing. However, he and the other directors have fallen out with Mr Abdullah.