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Pearl bondholders head for showdown meeting

Pearl Group, the insurance company planning to list on the stock market sometime this year, should know tomorrow whether it has done enough to placate a disgruntled bondholder group.

Pearl has convened a meeting of its bondholders at the Canary Wharf offices of law firm Clifford Chance at which an offer to investors, who have been deprived of interest payments since last year, will be voted on. The company needs a 75 per cent vote in favour for the offer, which envisages £100m of the £500m bonds in question being bought back at 45 per cent of their value, for it to succeed.

Already a vocal bondholder group. headed by Bingham McCutchen, has voiced its disapproval of the Pearl offer.

Two members of the Pearl board, Ian Ashken and Rene-Pierre Asria, are said to be taking an extremely tough line with the bondholders whereas others want to get a quicker deal.