Bradford & Bingley plc have kindly informed us about the "Placing of the Rump" ... this is not some arcane Masonic ritual, or a game at Eton, once enjoyed by he Conservative Opposition Front Bench but relates to the desperate attempt to drum up some wonga for the beleaguered building society whose shares trade today @51.5 p , nearly 10% below the recent Rights issue and traded at nearly 400p a year ago.
"The Company announces that the Underwriters have informed the Company that they are of the opinion that it is unlikely that any subscribers can be procured at a price per New Share which is at least equal to the Issue Price of 55 pence per New Share and the expenses of procuring subscribers (including any applicable brokerage and commissions and amounts in respect of value added tax) by 4:30 p.m. on 22 August 2008. "
The Underwriters and sub-underwriters are now obliged to subscribing for the remaining 597,263,479 New Shares, representing approximately 72.16% of the total number of New Shares offered to Shareholders, at the Issue Price of 55 pence per New
Share. This is known in the City as the "Pouring money down a Black Hole".
It now appears that The Underwriters are in a 20 day lock-up agreement under which they have agreed not to dispose of the 426,698,729 shares they now have, an agreement which will terminate in the event that the Company enters into an offer period (as defined in the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers).
All that is left is for the first half disastrous results to appear on August 29th.
The best that can be hoped for is that the depositors form an orderly queue as they close their accounts.