Cash shell Marlowe Holdings Ltd got off to a strong start in its new form with the share price rising 55.5p to 142.5p.
Lord Ashcroft remains a significant shareholder in Marlowe with 53.6%. New directors have come on board who have previously been involved with other companies associated with Lord Ashcroft, including Restore and Impellam. None of them will receive any pay until an acquisition is made in the business services sector. The focus is on businesses with long-term contracts that are in fragmented sectors.
New chief executive Alex Dacre, who is 27 years old, has worked for recruitment company Impellam and finance director Derek O’Neill was boss of technology staff supplier Lorien prior to its purchase by Impellam. Restore boss Charles Skinner is a non-executive director and Peter Gaze is the only original director left on the board.
Marlowe was previously known Shellshock which floated on AIM in October 2007 and has remained a shell since then and maintained its cash pile. There was £3.17m in the bank at the end of September 2014. A placing at p a share has raised a further £5.2m at 60p a share.
This should leave Marlowe with around £8.3m depending on the expenses of the fundraising. However, Marlowe is capitalised at £20.8m, which is a 150% premium to cash. The directors and the Aim quotation are the other assets but it is questionable that they are worth £12.5m so the share price rise looks overdone.
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