Cosalt shares stay frozen as talks over long-term funding continue

David Ross.
David Ross.
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CASH-strapped offshore services and workwear group Cosalt said it still has not sorted its long-term funding, leaving its shares frozen.

The Grimsby-based group said discussions to secure a long-term financing solution are ongoing and remain uncertain.

The company is reliant on its chairman, Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross, for funding. It is talking to Mr Ross, its banks and pension trustees about funding.

As a result, Cosalt said it is not yet ready to publish its report and accounts for 2011, so its shares remain suspended.

Cosalt recently agreed a settlement with former directors Calum and Stuart Melville over an alleged fraud, but is now in talks with police over the issue. It has received £1m under the settlement and is due to receive another £1m.

Cosalt said it has been trading at a loss after interest and the costs of being listed. “The level of indebtedness, and issues of and allied to the litigation, have continued to significantly constrain the business,” it added.

A pension contribution holiday previously agreed with its pension trustees has expired, but Cosalt has not been able to agree a new deal on contributions.

However, the company said it has made “good progress” on operational improvements in the main operating businesses.

“The management team remains very focused on finding viable solutions to these issues for all parties involved in the discussions and will make a further announcement as soon as possible,” it said in a statement.

Earlier this year Mr Ross was unsuccessful in taking Cosalt private.