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Market Watch

FINANCE

INDEPENDENT shareholders in Wigmore have been asked to wave goodbye to a clause that could allow them to sell shares in the ailing construction group at a premium.

Investment group Burnbrae is putting £1 million into Wigmore in a complex share-only deal that will keep the firm, which has yet to make a profit since floating in 2002, going.

The deal involves raising £800,000 through issuing a further 666 million shares in Wigmore at 0.12p and will give Burnbrae a 59.7 per cent stake in the company.

If all Burnbrae's options are exercised, this stake will rise to 77.4 per cent.

Under City rules Burnbrae would be required to make an offer for the remaining stock.

This should be a relief for shareholders, whose stock has careered down from 3p to 0.11p in the past year before a minor rise last week.

Yet those same shareholders will be asked to waive their rights at a forthcoming extraordinary general meeting.

As Burnbrae already holds a majority stake there is little other shareholders can do to prevent the deal.

There was more conventional fundraising at Keller, which gathered $100 million (about £55 million) through a private placement with US investors to refinance existing debt.

The deal was confirmed last week.

Shares at the ground engineering contractor closed down 2.5p at 266p.

MJ Gleeson closed the results season for contractors but investors were not best pleased, wiping 8 per cent off the firm's shares last week, while results from claims consultant James R Knowles also disappointed.