Candover in possible sell off

CANDOVER, the cash-poor private equity group, is considering selling off assets one by one after interest in a rescue bid for the group appears to have waned.<br /><br />The group was considering a possible &ldquo;run-off&rdquo; of assets yesterday following speculation that French investment group Eurazeo had walked away from a possible buyout. Candover&rsquo;s shares plummeted by 30 per cent to just 154p as panicked traders digested the rumours.<br /><br />Markets were also spooked ahead of a 30 June test to establish whether the group &ndash; which has souring investments in groups like gambling giant Gala Coral &ndash; is operating within its debt covenants.<br /><br />Candover chairman Gerry Grimstone ordered the release of a statement following the dramatic drop in its share price, assuring investors it expects to remain compliant with covenants &ldquo;throughout 2009&rdquo;. The next twice-yearly covenant test deadline takes place on 30 December.<br /><br />An asset &ldquo;fire sale&rdquo; at the group, where it would sell off assets at current depressed market values, would prove costly for those investors that bought in to its funds at the height of the boom.<br /><br />Candover added that if it thought it could breach covenants it would &ldquo;have to inform the market with immediate effect&rdquo;, allaying fears of a serious liquidity situation.<br /><br />Shares of the group closed 22.54 per cent down by close of play yesterday to 177p.