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Sir Peter sorry over delays to Promethean takeover

FORMER Bank of Scotland chief Sir Peter Burt has apologised to shareholders for further delays to a reverse takeover of the investment company by its final investment holding, TIS Holdings.

Promethean racked up £278,000 in expenses relating to the transaction in the six months to December 31, although £204,000 of this has been settled by traded endowment policy specialist TIS as part of the deal.

Sir Peter told investors: "I am sorry to say that there continues to be delays, primarily as the result of the need to obtain regulatory clearances in a number of different jurisdictions."

Sir Peter launched the investment fund in 2005 with his son Michael Burt.

Investors voted in 2009 to wind up the company and most of its investments have been sold.

Promethean now has only cash and a majority shareholding in TIS.

"The trading prospects for Promethean, both for the period to December 31 2013 and indeed since then, were and continue to be effectively those of the TIS Group. There has been substantial expenditure on professional fees for the period under review and four-fifths of this has been incurred in respect of the proposed reverse takeover, which are underwritten by TIS in the event that the transaction does not proceed," Sir Peter said.

"The process has been lengthy, partly because of the specialist nature of TIS's business and I am sorry that the proposed transaction has taken so long, despite the remarkable efforts of both the TIS staff and the various professional advisers who have been involved."

Its shares remain suspended.

Sir Peter said that the company is proceeding on the basis that it will get the regulatory permissions "but there can be no certainty of that and one has no way of speeding up regulatory clearances", he added.

He said that the directors still believe the transaction is in investors' interests.

Promethean made a £770,000 pre-tax loss for the six-month period.

Promethean's original mission was to target companies worth up to £300 million with a more activist approach than traditional private equity investors. In 2006, it failed to land a £164m takeover offer for London & Scottish Bank.

Its initial backers included Bank of Scotland vehicle Uberior Investments.

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