Merchant share suspension to continue as accounts delayed

Merchant House Group, the listed parent company of structured product provider Merchant Capital and IFA network Merchant House Financial Services, has announced that the suspension of its shares will continue for a further month due to a delay in publication of its annual accounts.

The group announced in April of this year that its shares would be suspended from trading on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange over concerns that the company could not meet its working capital requirements.

This followed an earlier suspension of trading in March 2012 after company bosses discovered shares representing 14.1 per cent of the company had been issued without announcement or trading on Aim.

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The company has endured a difficult four months since it was hit in March by the collapse of stockbroker Pritchard, which acted as custodian for client assets for Merchant Capital.

In June the company said in a stock exchange announcement that its trading had been “adversely affected by the events of the past few months”, and that it would be publishing details in iots annual accounts “on or before 31 July”.

In an announcement today (31 July), however, the company stated that the audit of its accounts is still ongoing and that publication is now expected in “the second half of August”.

It added that the board expects suspension of its shares to be lifted as soon as the accounts for the period to December 2011 are published.

The firm also announced plans to launch a corporate advice arm for its IFA network Merchant House Financial Services, as well as a plan to expand its structured product offering across Europe.

The company also gave an update on the £2m of funding announced in June, saying that it is awaiting Financial Services Authority approval for a £400,000 equity injection by Beia Investment Partners and that until this is received the investment has been provided in the form of a working capital loan.