Investors wary as Healthcare Locums shares rejoin market

HEALTHCARE Locums rejoined London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) yesterday after almost nine months suspended, but its share price crashed as investors stayed wary on the stock.

The shares listed at 10p, the same price HCL’s biggest shareholders paid for a huge new tranche of equity issued to raise £60m to refinance it.

Shares traded at highs of 12.9p but closed at 7.8p, with about 15m shares traded in the session.

“We are pleased shareholders have had the chance to trade shares after being locked out of the market for so long. Today’s market confirms that the board was right to raise new money at the 10p level,” a spokesman said.

HCL’s shares were suspended in January after serious accounting irregularities came to light that led its founder Kate Bleasdale (pictured) and board to resign. Merchant Securities analyst Ian Jermin said HCL’s new chief executive, Stephen Burke, had a good record, but liquidity may be low because investor Toscafund held 42 per cent of equity, and legal action by Bleasdale posed a risk to the firm.