|Wellingborough & Kettering News 27/11/1891, transcribed by Peter Brown
The Rushden Gas QuestionThe question of the amalgamation of the Rushden and Higham Gas Companies is again to the front. It was raised some few months since, but was put aside pending the decision of the Rushden Local Board as to the acquisition of the Rushden Gasworks by the town. This matter has since been before the Local Board and the Vestry, and although no exception appears to be taken to the Gasworks belonging to the town as a principle, it has, from some cause or other, failed to take any hold on public opinion. Like the farmer on claret, "There's no getting any for'arder." It is not that the Companies are averse to the sale, as we are informed that the directors of both are of opinion that the works should be transferred to the Local Board at any time that they may be required, but that, in the interests of all parties, arbitration would be the only means, either now or at any future time, of arriving at their correct value.
In the meantime the Companies cannot stand still. Both have to spend considerable sums, and if this is done independently of each other, amalgamation becomes impracticable. Rushden has to deal with an insufficient gas supply, which has given rise, not without cause, to much grumbling. It has only two courses openeither to enlarge the present works, or provide new works on a new site. To purchase all the available ground in the vicinity of the works, and enlarge the existing works to their utmost capacity, would not only be very expensive, but would in the end, it is believed, prove totally insufficient for the requirements of the town. The directors have, therefore, decided to recommend the erection of new works on a new site, and to ask the shareholders to sanction the amalgamation of the two Companies or rather to help in the formation of a new Company to take over both.
The basis of the proposed arrangement, in which the directors of both Companies are practically agreed, is that a new Company should be formed, with a nominal share capital of probably £10,000, divided into shares of £10 or £2 10s. each, as may be afterwards determined. The shareholders in the Rushden Gas Company would receive £3,200 in fully-paid shares, being at the rate of £20 for every £12 10s. in the existing Company; and the shareholders in the Higham Gas Company would receive £400 in fully-paid shares, being £2 10s. for every reduced share of the same amount in the existing Company. The new Company would accept the liabilities of both Companies for debentures, borrowed capital, and debts, amounting to about £1,200 in respect to the Higham Company, and £1,000 in respect to the Rushden Company; and would take over the entire plant, stock, works, and assets of both Companies. The present works of both Companies would be carried on until the completion of the new works, and would then be sold. Proposals to the above effect are to be submitted to the shareholders of both Companies for their approval.