Cashbox sale talks fall through

Cashbox sale talks fall through

Shares in UK independent ATM operator Cashbox have slumped on news that it has called off takeover talks with potential bidders. The news comes just days after the vendor sacked its CEO Carl Thomas following an investigation into his share dealings in the wake of the recent bid approach.

The firm's stock fell 18.09% to 19.25 pence in morning trading after Cashbox released a statement saying none of the discussions "were proceeding as rapidly as the board would have liked and accordingly the company has ceased talks with the parties concerned".

Cashbox says it is "not aware of any potential bona fide offerors" and as a result it would no longer be deemed to be in an offer period.

The news comes just days after Cashbox sacked its CEO Carl Thomas after completing an internal probe into his recent share dealings.

Between 3 January and 8 February this year Thomas bought 303,000 shares and sold just over 1.5m shares in the business at prices between 18 pence and 33 pence. Three of the 20 share transactions that Thomas made took place after the vendor originally stated that it had received an early stage bid approach.

Following an investigation into the matter and a disciplinary process Cashbox says Thomas was dismissed on 20 March without notice as CEO, director and employee of the firm.

The firm's chairman Anthony Sharp has executive responsibility for an interim period until a new chief executive is appointed.

Cashbox was set up in September 2003 by Thomas - a former sales director at ATM firm Hanco which was acquired by Royal Bank of Scotland in 2004 - and his brother Matt. Thomas still holds 4.2 million ordinary shares in the business, which represents 6.91% of the issued share capital.

Last month Cashbox and Thomas were ordered by a judge to pay significant costs to Thomas's former employer Hanco, a cash machine vendor owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The order followed a long-running dispute between the two firms over allegations that Thomas poached a client contract for the installation of ATMs with Thresher Group.

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