Got a call yesterday from a woman at a company called Davidson Consultancy in NY claiming to be acting on behalf of major multinational building a stake in GWP. Said they had 43 per cent of acceptences from institutions and were trying to get to 51 per cent to take control. Indicative price of between £2 and £6 a share! Was I interested?
The caller claimed the price range was wide at the mo as the client was still working on a special tax arrangement and the higher end of the range was likely if they could to 51 per cent by the end of the fiscal year, so they needed a strong indications of willingness to sell by the end of the month. I gave them a gmail address and suggested they send something in writing so I could take advice.
Clearly an unlikely story and a scam. I thought it might be someone trying to start a rumour to ramp the price. I thought I'd alert GWP directly and rang the company secretary, eventually speaking to a member of his staff.
I got the following email from the company this morning. I'm passing it on here just in case there is anyone else wondering what's going on. I'm sure I won't have been the only shareholder to be canvassed. The company's response follows:-
"This is fraudulent activity that seems to happen about every 6 months. It hasn't happened for a while, but you tend to get a flurry of such calls as the fraud teams work their way down our shareholder list.
A call centre gets hold of our shareholder data from companies house ( which is usually years out of date) matches up names and addresses with phone book data to get phone numbers then cold calls our shareholders.
This is a very widespread problem, certainly not specific to GW. I think the biotech sector gets targeted because we tend to have shareholders who are willing to take a bigger risk than most in order to try to achieve high returns, and are therefore considered more likely to take up an offer that is too good to be true.
If you follow up on the initial offer, the first thing they get you to do is sign a confidentiality agreement. Then they agree to pay you 3x the current share price. Finally, in order to do the deal, you have to send them your share certificate, but just in case it gets lost in the post, you first have to pay them an "indemnity premium" which equates to about 20 per cent of the value that they have offered you for your shares.
If you send them the money you never hear from them again.
There are numerous variations along this theme. In theory you can report them to the FSA but these people are always calling from abroad so the FSA are powerless to do anything."
A clear and useful warning to all of us, methinks. The old adage applies - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Hit the nail on the head there. This little rise seems to have come off the back of recent EU events. I can't attribute it to anything other than confidence, let us hope the good news continues as we are undervalued at present IMHO. GL
yes I am sure the Greeks have not finished playing havoc with the markets yet. which is why I am warry of this one for the moment, vulnerable to a down turn in Europe this one IMHO. but long term still much potential
Big buy this afternoon, but the price hardly budges. Past experience suggests there may a series of tiny sales tomorrow to push it down again. We long-termers can only watch and wait. But today's big buyer has clearly made a very shrewd move. The auguries remain strong for a v good 2013.
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