Wellington Market owner makes plea for investment
The company that runs an historic Telford market says it is looking for investors, after financial troubles saw it suspend the sale of shares.
Traders in Wellington Market were told by Wellington Market Company that it is undergoing a valuation process for all its properties.
Since 2014, the company has been called WMC Retail Partners Plc and company revealed at the end of September that it was requesting that dealings in the company’s shares are suspended.
As well as running Wellington Market, trading as Town & Country Markets, it manages Cornish Market World, Luton Market, Morley Market Leeds, Reading Market, Walton Street Hull Market, New Watford Market and Shepherd’s Bush Market.
Wellington Market is said to be possibly the most historic business in the town, established since 1244, when it was established by Royal Charter and now houses over 120 shopping units, also with an outdoor market area.
On September 14, it was revealed that the company had taken a further short-term loan of £44,000 to assist with its ongoing financial difficulties.
In a report to the stock market, it said: “Discussions with regards to raising additional funding for the company continue as a matter of urgency to resolve the company’s working capital position.
“The directors are seeking a significant funding package to secure the immediate future for the company, however there is no assurance that the company will be able to raise sufficient funds.
“At the current time, the company is reliant on the support of creditors, customers and shareholders to enable it to continue to trade. Further announcements will be made in due course.
“In light of the ongoing uncertainty on the company’s financial position, the company has requested dealings in the company’s ordinary shares be suspended from trading.”
At the point that trading stopped, share prices were close to an all-time low at 16.5p, ten years ago, the shares were valued at ten times that amount.
It made a loss last year of £51,000 on sales of £4.2 million.
On September 29, WMC was due to publish its half-year results, but instead posted an update saying: “The company announces that whilst talks continue with a number of parties over possible additional finance and/or refinancing, the uncertainty regarding the company’s financial position remains.
“The company is therefore unable, at this time, to publish its half year results, which would normally be due by September 30.
“The company will remain suspended and will make a further announcement in due course.
It has also been reported that the CEO has left the company, but WMC says that it is for personal reasons.
Esther Worboys, a spokeswoman for WMC, said: “ We are currently speaking to various investors in order to be able to action some of our long term strategic plans.”