Share and share alike

During his time at Ibrox Brian Stockbridge may have presented as a rather unassuming chap.

However he may turn out to be a very significant player in the Sevco saga, because it is the former Financial Director, appointed by Charles Green, who has provided proof that hidden share options existed for at least one ex-employee.

Now the hint is that there are others with similar arrangements.

These deals will further diminish the number of available shares for the Share Option.

The Alternative Investment Market (AIM) has contacted RIFC through their NOMAD Charles Stewart and company and they want to know if there are any other Stockbridge arrangements.

Just at the week end the Blue Pitch and Margarita chaps hinted to their fellow shareholders in RIFC that there might indeed be other such deals waiting in the wings.

If knowledge is power then it is the shy ones at RIFC who are in the driving seat.

This bombshell was delivered when these shy shareholders had their offer to buy out the others rebuffed out of hand.

They have been offering to buy the shareholdings of Laxey Partners and the institutional investors, but only for a fraction of the market value.

In a counter to this Laxey and the institutions have been buying up shares on the open market.

I understand that to make payroll this month some facility will have to be made available from some of the RIFC directors.

The Season Ticket money is off limits while the ability to trade to the year end next June remains in question.

Laxey and the institutions have referred the Stockbridge share deal to the AIM.

They have made reference about the secrecy and timing of this arrangement.

The issuing of 714,258 1p new ordinary shares in RIFC netted Stockbridge a tidy six figure sum, but it also had wider ramifications.

The plans drawn up around the 43.4 million shares are now meaningless because there are in fact only 42.6 million shares.

That’s bad enough, but the possibility that there are other such deals, perhaps much larger than Stockbridge’s nice little earner means that the people driving the RIFC bus don’t know where to go next.

One highly significant aspect of this issue is that the share option was not on Stockbridge’s contract.

Moreover it only kicked in when his employment at RIFC was terminated.

Subsequently, every business plan that Graham Wallace and Philip Nash have been working on for the last six months are now worthless.

The Share Option is now hopelessly compromised.

Even if a mystery buyer emerged tomorrow and wanted to buy a controlling interest in RIFC they wouldn’t know what they had got for their money.

The Brian Stockbridge deal really is a game changer.

With the Share option off the table then the Share Issue is now dead in the water.

They’re drawing up a list of likely candidates to be in line for a Stockbridge type post-employment share bonus.

Moreover Wallace and Nash had hoped to have seen three or four players sold and out the door by now, the wage bill reduced and the transfer fees banked.

Instead they’re taking fire from all sides.

The Season Ticket strike seems to be holding firm and it is really killing them when lumped in with all the other issues.

I can’t see how Graham Wallace and Philip Nash can turn this ship around, but if they do they’re due some kind of business award.

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