Healthcare Locums pushes fundraising despite opposition

TROUBLED medical staff provider Healthcare Locums has vowed to press ahead with its £60m emergency fundraising despite rebel investors claiming they have won enough support for it to be blocked.

Sources at the firm denied the suggestion by US hedge fund Arundel Capital that more than a fifth of shareholders oppose the plan, which would see major investors Toscafund and ACE buy new shares while others see their stake diluted.

HCL said Arundel could not prove the extent of its support for blocking the share placement, despite the fund’s lawyers saying it has the backing of 21.6 per cent of shareholders, just short of the 25.1 per cent needed for the EGM on 12 September.

Shares in HCL have been suspended and it posted a £56.5m loss for 2010. Publication of the accounts was delayed after the board said it had found irregularities.

City A.M. understands the firm spoke to investors before announcing the fundraising plan and that it sees the move by Arundel, which has a 0.5 per cent stake, as the agitating of a tiny shareholder. HCL believes there is no alternative to a fundraising.

Small shareholders’ group ShareSoc is also against HCL’s plan.