"Hold on, we're trying to find someone who can restart the ride."
Ince has given its shareholders an exciting time by waiting until the last possible moment to avoid being delisted by the London Stock Exchange.
Investors were surprised when the The Ince Group Plc announced its intention last month to purchase Arden Partners, a broker and corporate advisor, for £10 million, but they weren't as surprised as Ince when the firm's shares were immediately suspended.
Under AIM rules, listed companies are required to retain a 'Nominated Advisor', known as a 'Nomad', and Arden had been serving as Ince's Nomad. Somehow no-one appears to have realised that their proposed deal constituted a possible conflict of interest which meant Arden would have to resign and trading in Ince's shares would be halted.
The firm conceded to one aggrieved shareholder that the suspension, which has been in place for a month, was "unexpected and very regrettable". Another shareholder said that Ince CEO Adrian Biles had reassured him that, "I believe that I am able to say that there is no current intention to take the company private and that every effort is being made to ensure that we meet the deadline for the appointment of a new nominated adviser".
Ince has continued to stay positive in the face of shareholder concerns and its rivals' glee, and released an update this week stating that it was "using all reasonable endeavours to appoint a new Nominated Adviser as soon as practicable".
According to AIM rules, Ince risks being delisted if it is unable to find a new Nomad by midnight tonight.
Re-listing may cost around £1 million, but becoming a laughing stock will also be a driver motivating Ince to find someone to save its blushes. Someone who can charge an eye-watering appointment fee thanks to the firm's non-existent bargaining position.
At the time of going to press, no announcement was forthcoming, but RollOnFriday's money is on Ince* finding a Nomad at the last moment.
UPDATE: They bloomin’ did it - new Nomad announced at 4.30pm. Triples all round!
*not literally, because it would be frozen.
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