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PIPE | IPO

About HORIZON

HORIZON is a family office managed by Jean-Baptiste Duzan, a former Renault-Nissan executive.

Headquarters Location

Paris,

France

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Latest HORIZON News

Former Post Office chair says he was told to stall Horizon compensation payouts

Feb 18, 2024

Henry Staunton claims request was made so government could ‘limp into’ the next general election Last modified on Sun 18 Feb 2024 04.07 EST A former Post Office chair said he was told by a senior civil servant to stall compensation payouts to post office operators so the government could “limp into” the general election. Henry Staunton, who was sacked by the business secretary, Kemi Badenoch, last month amid anger over the Horizon scandal, said the request came soon after he took up the role in December 2022. He also alleged that Nick Read, the Post Office chief executive, tried in January to dissuade the government from proceeding with blanket exonerations for operators. In an interview with the Sunday Times , Staunton, 75, said the request to slow down compensation payouts appeared to be an attempt to reduce the government’s financial liability before the general election this year. “Early on, I was told by a fairly senior person to stall on spend on compensation and on the replacement of Horizon, and to limp, in quotation marks – I did a file note on it – limp into the election,” Staunton said. “It was not an anti-postmaster thing, it was just straight financials. I didn’t ask, because I said ‘I’m having no part of it – I’m not here to limp into the election, it’s not the right thing to do by postmasters.’ The word ‘limp’ gives you a snapshot of where they were.” The government denied Staunton’s claim. It said Staunton was set “concrete objectives” to reach settlements and added: “The government has sped up compensation to victims, and consistently encouraged postmasters to come forward with their claims. To suggest any actions or conversations happened to the contrary is incorrect.” More than 900 post office operators were prosecuted for stealing money because of incorrect information from the Horizon computer system, in what has been described as the biggest miscarriage of justice in UK history. About £140m in compensation has been paid out so far, although many victims are experiencing delays and say the scheme is too bureaucratic. Staunton, a former chair of WH Smith, alleged Read wrote to the justice secretary, Alex Chalk, last month in an attempt to persuade the government against mass exonerations. The letter included a legal opinion from the Post Office’s solicitors, Peters & Peters, which suggested many convictions could be defended on appeal, Staunton told the Sunday Times. He added: “Basically it was trying to undermine the exoneration argument. It was, ‘Most people haven’t come forward because they are guilty as charged’ – ie, think very carefully about exoneration.” Staunton said he told Read the opinions in the letter were not endorsed by him or “at least half” of the Post Office’s board members, and that “if this got out, we’d be crucified, and rightly so”. The Post Office has been contacted for comment. A Post Office source denied to the Sunday Times that the letter was seeking to influence the government. Ministers have pressed ahead with emergency legislation that will quash all Post Office convictions related to Horizon. The Post Office minister, Kevin Hollinrake, said last month that operators had been victims of a “brutal and arbitrary exercise of power”. He added that £1bn had been budgeted for compensation payments. Explore more on these topics 7d ago 7d ago 9 Feb 2024 7 Feb 2024 6 Feb 2024 4 Feb 2024 2 Feb 2024 2 Feb 2024 1 Feb 2024 31 Jan 2024

HORIZON Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Where is HORIZON's headquarters?

    HORIZON's headquarters is located at Paris.

  • What is HORIZON's latest funding round?

    HORIZON's latest funding round is PIPE.

  • Who are the investors of HORIZON?

    Investors of HORIZON include Lion Point Capital.

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