Williams, mother of private investor and ‘bulletin board’ celebrity Chris Williams (better known as ‘Chris Oil’), has had her stake in the Denmark and Belize focussed oil explorer reduced to 25.94%.
It means that Chris Oil’s purported trading error will no longer force his mother to make an offer for the whole company.
A bizarre series of events has played out in recent weeks after Chris Oil claimed to have accidently bought nearly half the company on his mother’s behalf as he prematurely factored in dilution created by a proposed issue of 2.7bn new shares.
Some 342.3mln shares were bought at the end of April and whilst the initial stock market notification claimed this represented 10% of the company; it should’ve read 48.7%.
The matter was further complicated by settlement delays in the market, volatile trading and a revision to New World’s fund raising plans.
New World today holds an extraordinary general meeting for a vote on the group’s funding proposals, and it has also this morning requested the suspension of trading in its shares on AIM pending an announcement.
A significant portion of the shares acquired by Williams were ‘unsettled’ in the market (i.e. money and shares didn’t change hands).
London’s Takeover Panel had ruled that Williams could attempt to sell the shares but said an offer to buy the rest of the company’s shares would have to be made if she received delivery of shares representing more than 30% of the voting rights.
Since then Williams has been selling and a regulatory stock exchange announcement this morning confirmed the stake had reduced to 182.2mln from 250.3mln at the end of last week, and the shareholding now represented 25.94%.