Wentworth wins action against Khan

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The Independent Online
WENTWORTH International, the troubled packaging group, has won a pounds 1.45m legal action against Haque Khan, its former chairman and chief executive.

The company, which yesterday launched a pounds 9.5m rescue rights issue to cut debts, said it had been awarded the sum, plus interest and costs, after a summary judgment in its favour.

Wentworth has been informed that Mr Khan, who was ousted from its board last year, had appealed against the verdict and it will be several months before the result is known.

The company obtained a Mareva injunction freezing Mr Khan's assets worldwide last October following a dispute concerning certain acquisitions made in Belgium about two years ago.

Yesterday's seven-for-two cash call at 2.5p a share is part of refinancing proposals aimed at reducing Wentworth's net debts from pounds 19.6m to pounds 10.5m. The rights issue has been underwritten by Bank Indosuez, which owns a 61 per cent stake in the company.

Wentworth said: 'The directors believed the refinancing proposals were the only alternative to receivership or liquidation currently available to the company.

'In the event of receivership or liquidation, the board believes that there would be no residual value for shareholders.'

The rights issue was accompanied by taxable losses of pounds 3m for the year to 31 March, against pounds 4.2m in the previous year, on sales up from pounds 26m to pounds 28m.

The group also plans to appoint an independent non-executive director following the refinancing.