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M&G's Dobell, hedgie and staff back £5m WH Ireland raise

M&G's Dobell, hedgie and staff back £5m WH Ireland raise

The latest cash call from WH Ireland, which raised £5 million yesterday, has been backed by existing investors M&G Recovery manager Tom Dobell and Polygon Global Partners hedge fund boss Reade Griffith, along with staff.

The company yesterday the placing after a review found the business' profitability is likely to be under pressure for the immediate future, in what it branded an 'exceptional warning'. 

The news sent shares in the firm crashing, with its stock closing down 42.13%, or 26.96p, on the day at 37.04p.

The placing  comprises around 11 million new shares priced at 45p each. Polygon, the biggest shareholder in the company, took the largest portion, subscribing to 3.3 million more shares, taking its stake up 29.84%.

Dobell took 1.9 million, increasing his holding to 14.96%, with the rest subscribed to by staff.

Head of wealth Stephen Ford took 111,111, taking a 0.26% stake, with CEP Phillip Wale buying 32,5000 and chairman Timothy Stell 25,000, with head of corporate broking Adam Pollock stumping up for 22,222.

Wale told the market in a late evening statement yesterday: 'We are delighted with the support from new and existing shareholders, who are committed to the next stage of the Company's growth and development and I look forward to updating shareholders as our plans for WH Ireland progress.'

The company also said that it will hold an AGM on 21 March.

An extended run of problems

WH Ireland has been beset by problems in recent years. It issued a profit warning last month, which prompted a  10% fall in its share price. This echoed a similar fall the previous November, when the group reported that restructuring costs were continuing to weigh on the business, pushing down profits.

That was the latest in a string of profit warnings last year, which led the firm to raise capital twice through stock market placings. The latter raising saw M&G's Dobell take a 12% stake in the business last November.

The company has been in a transformation process since Wale joined last summer and recently hired  Philip Tansey as finance director earlier this year, with Ford joining last December. He was previously chief financial officer at Wale’s old firm, Panmure Gordon. He also had stints at BGC Partners, Deutsche Bank, Salomon Brothers and BDO Stoy Hayward.



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Tom Dobell
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