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Trading suspended for magazine publisher Highbury

Highbury House, the magazine company behind videogame titles including GamesTM, X360, Play and XBM, has temporarily suspended dealings in its shares on the London Stock Exchange after talks over refinancing the group ended.

The embattled media firm, which moved to the Alternative Investment Market in London back in June after selling the bulk of its magazine businesses to rival Future Publishing, is currently valued at around GBP 2 million - but has debts of over GBP 25 million.

The company's management, headed up by chairman Kelvin MacKenzie (former editor of right-wing UK tabloid The Sun), had been in discussions with its lenders regarding a refinancing of the debt which would have allowed the company to continue trading.

However, those discussions have now been terminated, and Highbury's shares have been suspended from trading pending further information about the future of the company.

"Discussions continue between the group and its lenders, which continue to be supportive of the group" a statement to the stock market yesterday claimed, "and the future viability of the group is dependent on the successful conclusion of these discussions."

Highbury disposed of the bulk of its active businesses in the first half of this year, but an outright acquisition of the group by Future Publishing was blocked by the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission on the grounds that it would have given Future - already a majority player in the sector - a monopoly over the videogames print magazine business in the UK.

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.