Victoria board urges shareholders to back AIM move

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SHAREHOLDERS of Worcestershire carpet manufacturer Victoria are being asked to approve plans that will see the company step down from the Official List in favour of trading on the Alternative Investment Market.

It has been a roller-coaster year for the shareholders after the bitter battle to take control of the firm’s boardroom but the directors have called on their backers to show patience and consider the proposal document which has been mailed to them.

A further general meeting will take place at the offices of Seymour Pierce, 20 Old Bailey, London on December 17 where proposal will be voted on.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange the firm said: “The board has been reviewing its strategy in recent months and the decision to move from the Official List to AIM is the next step in its broader plan to enhance returns to shareholders.  

“Shareholders representing a significant minority interest in the company have also indicated their desire for a move to AIM and have urged the board to put a resolution on the cancellation to shareholders.
“The board believes that a move to AIM will provide a market and environment more suited to the company’s size and will simplify the ongoing administrative and regulatory requirements.”

It said AIM also offered greater flexibility, particularly with regard to corporate transactions, and should therefore enable the company to agree and execute certain transactions more quickly and cost effectively compared to the Official List.

Once approved by 75% or more of shareholders, the firm’s place on the Official List will be cancelled on January 16, 2013 and trading on AIM set to start the following day.
The full extent of the firm’s plight was underlined last month with the publication of its interim results for the six months to September 29, 2012 showed its revenue was down by 7.8% on the same period in 2011.

Revenue declined to £35.99m over the period and the firm’s debt increased to £8.35m.

Group operating profit before exceptional items fell 94.3% from £1.85m to £0.11m while group profit before tax and exceptional items decreased from £1.72m to a loss of £0.07m.