Good morning!

Seems busy in RNS-land, so I might make each comment a bit more concise, to extend coverage.

Interquest (LON:ITQ)

  • Share price: 28.5p (suspended)
  • No. of shares: 38.7 million
  • Market cap: £11 million

AIM: Suspension

Update on Nominated Advisor and Suspension

I'll start by bringing this recruitment company's story (scandal?) up to date.

In a late announcement on Friday, Interquest released an "update" saying among other things that when it fired Panmure Gordon, it believed it was going to be able to find a replacement within the required notice period to avoid suspension.

But since it unfortunately (!) failed to carry out due diligence in time, the shares have been suspended as of today.

It also said the following:

The Company is actively working to engage a replacement nominated adviser and broker and expects that an appointment of a replacement nominated adviser and broker will be completed within one month of the suspension. Any appointment of a new nominated adviser and broker is subject to the satisfaction of due diligence and therefore, whilst the Company does not foresee any circumstances at this stage which would lead the admission of its AIM securities to be cancelled, there can be no guarantee that such due diligence will be completed satisfactorily.

No reason has been given for firing Panmure Gordon in the first place. So one is left with the conclusion that the powers that be simply don't want to have a stock market listing.

The risk of de-listing is particularly high with smaller companies, for investors who need liquidity.

If you don't need liquidity, then there is nothing wrong with owning shares in private companies. Most companies aren't listed publicly, after all.

What makes this particular episode a bit distasteful is that there hasn't been a positive rationale given for choosing to be a private company rather than a public one. Unless there was some specific problem with their existing advisor (and we have no reason to believe that there was), then it looks as if the company is being taken private on a technicality, deliberately. Which isn't in the spirit of how the stock market is supposed to work.

UP Global Sourcing Holdings (LON:UPGS)

  • Share price 117.8p (-44%)
  • No. of shares: 82 million
  • Market cap: £97 million