Connecting to LinkedIn...


Rebels With or Without a Cause? Healthcare Locums Investors Threaten Blocking Tactics.

Rebels With or Without a Cause? Healthcare Locums Investors Threaten Blocking Tactics.


Widely reported over the bank holiday weekend were claims that & lsquo;rebel’ shareholders in Healthcare Locums are planning to block the staffing firm’s recently announced rescue fundraising package.

The fundraising, which involves a &pound60 million share placing, has been put forward by the HCL board in a bid to avoid insolvency. The company recently warned of profit write-downs following the discovery of accounting irregularities and the suspension of shares in January. Its debt stood at &pound125.6 million at the end of 2010.  Most of the write down is goodwill and the company has significantly changed its Board, notwithstanding this in a letter sent to the HCL board, and witnessed by the Financial Times, investor Arundel Capital says it has the support of more than a fifth of shareholders in opposing the plan, which was set out earlier this month.

Its worth noting that Arundel only holds a 0.5% stake in the company and as far as RI is aware no other significant shareholders were named. However, some of HCL’s smaller shareholders, which include Arundel, say the refinancing will significantly dilute their shareholdings. Under HCL’s proposals, Toscafund, the firm’s second-largest shareholder, will offer &pound33.6 million for a 40% shareholding as the staffing firm transfers much of its debt into equity.

The letter, sent by Arundel’s law firm Clifford Chance, says that about 21.6% of shareholders, including Arundel, “have given either undertakings or indications of intent to vote as or with Arundel Capital against the equity offering prior to exploring all alternative refinancing options proposals”. HCL needs the approval of 75% of shareholders to get its proposals passed at an extraordinary general meeting on 13 September.

The letter also claims that Penta Capital, which is owned by Toscafund’s parent company, was paid &pound300,000 to advise on the fundraising, thereby creating a conflict of interest.

HCL has described Arundel’s claims as unfounded. The firm's board hopes that the fundraising will enable its trading on AIM to be resumed after it missed an initial deadline for relisting its shares in July.


The UK Healthcare staffing sector is certainly an interesting space to be in and it will be the focus of RI’s next  editorial feature.  If you work for a healthcare recruiter and would like to offer some comment about your company and the industry please contact

Deadline for comment is Friday 16th September


Articles similar to

Articles similar to