One more glitch in Montana wrangle : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

One more glitch in Montana wrangle

16.02.2001 By DITA DE BONI A group of Montana shareholders had a rude awakening last night when their brokers called with the news that some contract notes received from the sale of shares to Lion this week were incorrect.

Some shareholders found they had sold less than half the number of shares detailed in their contract notes, apparently because of a computer glitch.

Upset shareholders told the Business Herald they were bewildered by the glitch, which appeared to be adding insult to the injury of not being able to sell all their shares to Lion at its $4.65-a-share offer price.

Their shares were among those sold to Lion in the first few minutes of trading on Monday morning.

The sales came after the Stock Exchange granted the brewer a waiver from the usual takeover rules, allowing it to shut out a rival offer from British liquor giant Allied Domecq.

It is unknown exactly how many shareholders have been affected, but three broking firms have filed formal complaints with the exchange over its handling of the transactions.

The Business Herald understands information about which transactions had been approved and which had been voided by the exchange was incompatible with the systems used by some brokerage firms, causing at least one to call in IT experts for several hours to try and fix the problem.

Brokers and an exchange spokesman confirmed last night that the unspecified problem was compounded by the exchange having to invalidate a very large number of orders.

As a result, some brokers decided to hold off sending out contract notes to sellers before sorting through what one described as a "shambles."

JB Were, which sent out contract notes to clients only to have to telephone them later to correct them, was last night still trying to establish what had gone wrong.

Spokesman John Cobb acknowledged the firm had experienced some technical problems with its computer system.

It had told clients about the problem, but it had yet to establish the exact cause, said Mr Cobb.

One analyst, who did not want to be named, said the latest problem was just one more chapter in the "absolute fiasco" resulting from Lion being granted a waiver from regular notice and pause regulations.

"We were still sorting out the horrendous mess today. Our poor clients have been hanging on since Monday morning and we're still only able to verbally advise them of what's happened."

-- Doris (, February 15, 2001

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