Sir Peter Burt’s Promethean in reverse takeover

SHARES in Promethean, the listed private equity vehicle founded by former Bank of Scotland chief executive Sir Peter Burt, were suspended yesterday after the company announced proposals that could see it acquired in a reverse takeover.

The Aim-quoted firm has been in the process of selling off its remaining investments and returning cash to shareholders.

Under the proposals announced yesterday, Promethean would acquire the remaining shares in its last investment, endowment policies trader TIS Group, as part of a deal that would then see shareholders in an investment fund acquire Promethean.

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Promethean would be renamed and turned into a “multi-strategy investment company”.

Burt is chairman of Promethean but he told The Scotsman he will step down from the company if the proposal did go ahead.

“The board believes that the transaction offers the best solution in respect of the company’s final investment asset,” said the company.

If the deal doesn’t go-ahead, the board said it would look to de-list the company.

Founded by Burt and his son, Michael, Promethean had raised £50m when it listed on Aim seven years ago to take stakes in under-performing companies.

Bank of Scotland vehicle Uberior Investments was among the heavyweight shareholders that backed the launch, with Dundee-based Alliance Trust also taking a sizeable stake.

In 2011, Burt successfully fought off shareholder Laminvest’s attempts to install its own nominated directors on the board of the company.