Cattles in late bid to stave off demise

Loss-making lender Cattles has unveiled a last-ditch rescue plan to stave off administration.

The loan specialist, behind names including Welcome Finance, has put a deal on the table that would see bondholders paid just 49 million of the 750m they are owed while shareholders would receive 1p per share.

The proposal was announced as the company released results showing it made a pre-tax loss of 685.4m in 2009, compared with a 764.6m loss the previous year.

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Bosses believe the proposal, which shareholders will vote on in the new year, would preserve jobs as it could gradually reduce its 2,800 staff whereas administrators might make drastic redundancies.

The terms of the offer have been thrashed out following weeks of discussions with bondholders and banks.