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Optimal Payments Confirms Director Share Dealing With Equities First

Fri, 14th Nov 2014 17:56


LONDON (Alliance News) - Optimal Payments PLC Friday became the latest company to confirm a directors' agreement with Equities First, as scrutiny of unusual share transactions involving the US stock loan company increased.

Optimal Payments said that Chief Executive Joel Leonoff entered into a master loan and pledge agreement with Equities First Holdings LLC March 31.

The company said that the details it provided in its director dealings announcement April 1st had been correct, but noting "recent speculation and weakness in its share price", it has opted to provide further information around the agreement.

Leonoff pledged 1.5 million shares as collateral for a loan of around GBP4 million. The company did not say what this loan was for. Leonoff pays interest of 3% on a quarterly basis to Equities First on the loan, together with a financing agreement fee of 1.5%, and is obligated to repay the loan three years from the closing date of the agreement.

Leonoff will receive credit of all dividends paid on the shares during the term of the loan once it is repaid, and for the purposes of securing the loan, Leonoff has transferred title and voting rights in the shares. Equities First will not exercise any voting rights attached to the shares, and has committed not to engage in any short selling in or lending of the shares during the period of the loan.

Leonoff has an interest in 2.5% of Optimal Payments, or 4,133,843 shares including the shares pledged as collateral on the loan.

Optimal Payments is the latest in a slew of AIM listed companies providing disclosures on dealings with Equities First. Others include Igas Energy PLC, IQE PLC, ANGLE PLC, Cloudbuy PLC, and Quindell PLC. Earlier this week the Daily Mail reported that the UK's Financial Conduct Authority is set to investigate a series of announcements made by Quindell regarding a stock-for-loan deal done by three of its executives with Equity First Holdings.

Shares in Optimal Payments closed down 5.6% at 387.77 pence Friday.

By Hana Stewart-Smith; hanassmith@alliancenews.com; @HanaSSAllNews

Copyright 2014 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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