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By | John Oates 21st June 2007 12:03

Torex takeover angers shareholders

Banks win, we get nothing

Shareholders in Torex Retail have reacted angrily to news that the company has been sold in a private equity deal which will see the banks get paid off but leave little for ordinary shareholders.

A pressure group - UK Shareholders Association (UKSA) - is calling for an extraordinary general meeting to be held within three weeks to decide the fate of the company. Torex was sold on Tuesday to private equity firm Cerberus for £204.4m. But Torex debts are about £200m, leaving shareholders with nothing.

Interim chairman Steve Marshall defended the decision to sell. He said the firm had tried and failed to raise more money from shareholders but the money was not there.

Roger Lawson, communications director at UKSA, told the Reg: "There is no benefit at all to shareholders from this deal. We have submitted a request for an extraordinary general meeting and the Torex administrator is getting legal advice. We're asking for the removal of Steve Marshall and the appointment of new directors to turn the company around."

Torex is still being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over allegations that it mis-stated revenues. The SFO raided several addresses in January.

It also emerged today that Torex's former chairman Christopher Moore may be called as a witness into the Financial Services Authority investigation into iSoft. More from The Times here. ®

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