Firms’ shock at tips
Reporting by City Slickers James Hipwell and Anil Bhoyrul at the Daily Mirror caused companies to put out apologetic statements, a court heard yesterday.
The former Mirror financial journalists are accused of using their City Slickers column to manipulate share prices.
On day six of the trial at Southwark Crown Court jurors were told how companies that featured in their daily column would be forced into making statements to give investors the correct information.
In one such instance, the pair tipped off readers about a takeover bid for Dawson International.
“Every now and then we get a dead cert,” the column said. “Dawson International, the company that makes Pringle jumpers, is in takeover discussions.”
It further advised readers to buy shares in the company, and that it was “a great chance to make money quickly”. Giving evidence, finance director David Cooper, told the court that no takeover was in the pipeline at the time.
Cooper added that he had not spoken to either of the Slickers before the piece was published.
When he was made aware of it, the company issued a Stock Exchange announcement.
By then, shares in the company had seen a significant rise, he said.
Similar announcements by other companies were made in response to articles, the court heard.
One followed a piece about pharmaceutical company Oxford Glyco Sciences about the discovery of an Aids vaccine.
The prosecution’s case is that Hipwell made £41,000 through 44 separate “buy, tip and sell deals”.
A third man Terry Shepherd is on trial for the same offence.
Hipwell and Shepherd deny the charge. The trial continues.