Monday, January 4, 2021

News: United Carpets to de-list from AIM


Rotherham-based United Carpets Group plc has announced plans for a cancellation of admission to trading on the stock exchange.

The third largest chain of specialist retail carpet and floor covering stores in the UK was admitted to AIM in February 2005. It is set to re-register as a private limited company.

Bosses now believe that "the company is not of a sufficient scale to attract interest from institutional and other investors and consequently suffers from a lack of liquidity for its Ordinary Shares."

Unlike many of its competitors, the Bramley business is based on a franchise model. The business commenced trading in 1997 and in 1998 the first franchised store was created. At July 2020 the group had a total of 56 stores of which 46 were operated by franchisees.

In 2012, the group had its shares temporarily suspended after admitting it would not be able to publish its full-year results on time. A pre-pack administration deal saw United Carpets Group acquire the business and assets of its trading subsidiary United Carpets (Northern) Limited.

A statment to the stock exchange said: "The Directors have been reviewing the merits or otherwise of the Company's Ordinary Shares continuing to be admitted to trading on AIM and remaining a public limited company. The following key factors have been taken into account, amongst other matters, by the Directors in reaching the conclusion that the De-Listing is in the best interests of the Company and its Shareholders as a whole."

Most of the shares are owned by the company's founder, and current chief executive, Paul Eyre, and an offer of 6.25 pence per share to remaining shareholders have been put forward. The maximum cash consideration payable should all qualifying shareholders tender their shares is approximately £1.8m which will be funded from the Company's existing cash resources.

Proposals are due to be discussed further at a General Meeting this week.

The company is yet to report its financial results for the period affected by Covid-19. The Group's accounting period was extended from 31 March to 30 September so that the majority of the impact from Covid-19 should be confined within that extended accounting period.

Peter Cowgill, now outgoing Chairman, said in July: "We expect 2020 to be an unpredictable period due to Covid-19. Nevertheless, we believe strongly in the Group's core retail proposition providing great products and great value to our customers and with this as a base the Board is confident the Company is well placed to return the business to a commercially strong position."

United Carpets website

Images: United Carpets


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