Amstrad plan meets stiff opposition

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The Independent Online
ALAN SUGAR'S pounds 113m proposal to take Amstrad private was further thrown into doubt yesterday after the company disclosed a high level of opposition from shareholders, writes Neil Thapar.

With less than a week to go, 5,511 shareholders have sent in proxies voting against next Thursday's court meeting to approve the buyout. The meeting requires a majority of shareholders and three-quarters of shares held by those voting to approve the buyout.

Separately, a shareholders' meeting also requires a 75 per cent majority in favour of the 30p-a-share offer from Mr Sugar.

Amstrad revealed yesterday that 45.9 million shares had so far been received in favour for the shareholders' meeting and 33 million against. About 97 million shares would be needed to defeat Mr Sugar's plans.

'We are not doing very well at present,' Mr Sugar said. 'If shareholders really want the money they had better get their proxy forms and vote in favour. The way voting is going they may be expecting a cheque next Friday but won't get it.'