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Fallen stockmarket darling to ditch its listing

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Shares in Neos Resources, once a stockmarket darling, slumped to an all-time low as the oilseeds revealed that nine years after its IPO, a period during which it has failed to report a profit, it is to delist.

Neos, formerly known as D1 Oils, said that its board had concluded that it was "in the best interests" of the group to give up its listing on London's junior Aim stockmarket.

"Admission to trading imposes significant costs in both cash and management time," Neos said, revealing the pressures on its finances.

The group's cash reserves in the UK amount to £1.1m, with "net current assets" of about £300,000 in India, while its liabilities currently amount to some £900,000, although the costs of running its UK headquarters amount to £55,000 a month.

Delisting "forms part of the plans to manage the company's cost base", Neos said, adding that it was "urgently reviewing [its] financial position, and is taking appropriate professional advice".

Better times

The move to quit the stockmarket, which would require approval of holders of 75% of Neos shares, comes a week after it revealed it could become "an investing company" after racking up further losses in the last half of 2012, and ditching plans to raise funds to invest in its core Indian oilseeds trading business.

"The directors have now concluded that even with funding, the business will not be scalable to the level where it becomes a viable long-term business for the group," Neos said on January 22.

And a delisting would come nine years after the group's flotation, as D1 Oils, and which initially courted investor acclaim for a strategy of exploiting jatropha – a producer of vegetable oils for turning into biodiesel which can be grown on poor quality land, and so does not compete with food crops.

The shares more than tripled, to an all-time high of 565p, within four months of the IPO, boosted by hopes for

Company decline

However, the shares declined amid a series of strategy u-turns and failed tie-ups, including one with oil giant BP.

The company has unveiled losses, totalling £68m, every year, filings going back to 2002 show.

The group's woes in 2010 attracted an attempt by Brian Myerson, the controversial activist investor, to seize the controls at D1 Oils, to merge it into a cane ethanol operation being set up by his Principle Capital empire.

D1's latest incarnation, as Neos Resources, has been to broaden into trading a broad range of non-edible oilseeds, quitting its focus on jatropha.

The stock on Wednesday touched 0.1p before recovering some ground to close at 0.15p, down 60% on the day.

News of D1's delisting also comes three weeks after Karl Watkin, one of its founders, who quit the board more than four years ago, was declared bankrupt, with Bank of Scotland claiming he owed it £3.3m.


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