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UK Game Magazine Publisher Highbury Suspends Trading

The UK-based magazine company Highbury House, which includes a number of video game magazines such as GamesTM and XBM magazines, has announced that it has suspended its s...
The UK-based magazine company Highbury House, which includes a number of video game magazines such as GamesTM and XBM magazines, has announced that it has suspended its shares on the London Stock Exchange, due to concerns over its financial future following issues with its lenders. According to an official statement, the company has announced "...that discussions with its lenders concerning a refinancing of its indebtedness and a related issue of equity have now been terminated. As a consequence, the Group has requested that dealings in its shares be temporarily suspended pending clarification of its financial position." However, the company, which is headed by former UK Sun newspaper editor Kelvin MacKenzie, and also publishes magazines in other areas, including mens' magazine Front, also announced: "Discussions continue between the Group and its lenders, which continue to be supportive of the Group, and the future viability of the Group is dependent on the successful conclusion of these discussions." The company is currently wrestling with debts of around £29.5m ($52.1 million). Highbury was the subject of a takeover bid by rival and dominant UK video game magazine publisher Future Publishing in early 2005, but following a possible monopoly investigation by UK authorities, withdrew its bid for the game magazines, opting instead to acquire 38 other Highbury titles unrelated to games. Following the retention of its game magazines, Highbury is now the only other significant UK game magazine publisher, with Future recently winning the Nintendo Official Magazine contract from EMAP, thus removing that firm's final foothold in the UK game magazine market.

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