Private investors in Mapeley are angry that they are being excluded from applying for new preference shares yielding 20%.

They have accused the company of trying to bury the bad news by releasing details of the £45 million capital-raising on Christmas Eve. Mapeley, the landlord for HM Revenue & Customs and Abbey, is braced for a tough emergency meeting on 26 January, when shareholders will have to vote on the rescue fund raising.

It intends to issue £45m of convertible five-year bonds in order to pay back a £60m loan due in April. The bond pays 20% annual interest.

The Times