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Minoan bosses encourage investors with share decision

DIRECTORS of travel firm Minoan have again opted to take some of their pay in shares and share options to bolster its working capital and encourage potential investors.

OPTIONS: Minoan's managing director Duncan Wilson has opted to take some of his pay in shares.
OPTIONS: Minoan's managing director Duncan Wilson has opted to take some of his pay in shares.

Directors "are reinforcing their confidence in the company", Alternative Investment Market-listed Minoan said, by taking shares and options in return for £699,000 due to them in fees and salary.

Among the participants is managing director Duncan Wilson who is to be handed options worth around £85,000.

The company is also paying some of its suppliers in shares.

Christopher Egleton, chairman of Minoan, said: "The directors have stated repeatedly their belief in the group's eventual success and their commitment to providing value for shareholders and have once again demonstrated this belief and confidence in the group by taking equity in the company in exchange for the majority of outstanding fees/ salaries currently due to them".

A similar arrangement was made last year when the company settled nearly £1.2 million in outstanding fees due to directors and former directors in shares and share options .

This year's gesture appeared to have an immediate impact with Minoan's shares closing up 0.75p or 7.9% at 10.25p.

It caps a strong period for Minoan, which said last week that its profits and turnover for the year to October 31 were expected to meet market expectations when its accounts were published in May. In October Minoan secured a three-year loan facility of up to £5m with Jersey-based family wealth office Hilside International Holdings to finance a crucial project in Crete.

Minoan, which owns the King World, John Semple and Stewart travel agencies, said the decision of directors to take some salary in shares demonstrated "their ongoing commitment to, and belief in, the future of both the group's project in Crete" and also to " free up additional working capital" for other projects.

Minoan said that directors of Minoan and subsidiary companies would waive salaries due of £463,000, in return for the granting of options to subscribe for up to 5.1m shares.

Mr Wilson, a former chief of Airtours, is to be handed options for 850,000 shares.

The number of options was calculated based on a share price of 10p.

The option exercise price will be 1p. They can be exercised until the end of 2016.

Fees of £236,000 are to be settled in shares, rather than share options.

This will see Mr Egleton's company, Simmons International being handed 1.9 million shares, to cover his fees.

Jeremy Watts, a subsidiary company director is to receive 425,000 shares for his fee.

A further 1.4m shares are being issued to settle liabilities to third party service providers and consultants.

This has led Minoan to apply to for more than 3.8m new shares to be admitted to trading on the Aim market. The company said it was expected that admission will be effective from December 24.

Other large awards were taken by company secretary William Cole, who took options over 1.7m shares, and non-executive director Tim Hill, who also received 1.7m. Another director Barry Bartman received options over 850,000 shares.

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