Cosalt chairman gains 56pc shares backing

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CARPHONE Warehouse co-founder David Ross said he now has the backing of 56 per cent of Cosalt’s shares for his £800,000 takeover approach.

Mr Ross, who chairs the Grimsby-based company, wants to take Cosalt private and de-list it.

Yesterday his acquisition vehicle Oval said the offer, which values the company at 0.2p per share, has closed and is no longer open for acceptances.

Mr Ross, whose father and grandfather were directors of the company before him, owns about 43.5 per cent of Cosalt, some 176m shares. He has the backing of another 12.5 per cent of Cosalt’s shares.

Oval said it plans to convene a general meeting to vote on the de-listing and cancellation of Cosalt’s shares. Mr Ross needs the backing of at least 75 per cent of its shares to de-list the company.

Last month, three of Cosalt’s non-executive directors, Ken Murray, Maurice White and Yarom Ophir, resigned after Mr Ross’s offer was declared unconditional.

Mr Ross has also extended a £5m unsecured loan to the company to fund working capital.

Mr Ross says his primary motivation is preserving jobs at the company, which employs about 360 staff.

Cosalt recently sold its marine business to private equity for £27m after costs to cut debt.