Two million shares in Premium Bars and Restaurants were sold for the knock-down price of 30p today - shares have been trading are slightly more than twice that figure, writes Paul Charity. Some observers believe it may have been the shares previously owned by Dawnay Day, which is now in administration. It is thought that Dawnay Day owned 80% of its 29.4% stake in Premium in the form of so-called contracts-for-difference and it was in default as it faced margin calls in recent weeks. Premium chairman Mark Jones said it was hard to recall a major shareholder of a public listed company getting itself in to financial trouble so quickly. He added: “We’re in uncharted territory.” Dawnay Day representatives KC Wong and Alka Bali have resigned as non-executive directors of Premium on Wednesday. Administration came for Dawnay Day after it was forced to sell a 20% stake in F&C Asset Management at a loss of more than £80m at the end of last week, following a margin call from its financial backers. Dawnay Day also owns Indeed Group, the tenanted pub company that has around 30 pubs under management with Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises. It also owns 19 individual hotels including the Carlton hotel in Edinburgh and The Lygon Arms in the Cotswolds. Guy Naggar and Peter Klimt, the owners of Dawnay Day, are thought to have been hit by the credit crunch, unable to raise capital to meet their existing financial commitments.

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