On the morning of September 7, Brian Cass, chief executive of contract research firm Huntingdon Life Sciences, was standing in an anteroom of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) chatting to officials, waiting to go onto the floor of the exchange where Huntingdon's US parent company, Life Sciences Research (LSR) was due to be listed. The NYSE listing was being anticipated as a milestone. A few weeks earlier Cass had said in a statement that it was "gratifying that the company's significant growth in revenues, earnings and market capitalization over the past several years has enabled us to achieve this important objective."

But minutes before the bell was rung to begin that morning's trading, a Huntingdon spokesman says that Cass was approached by the president of the exchange, Catherine Kinney, who told him the listing was going to be postponed. She gave no explanation for the delay.

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