Anglia target in new Shute foray

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The Independent Online
ROGER SHUTE, the former chairman and chief executive of BM, the construction equipment group, snapped up his second big share stake of the week yesterday, paying about pounds 65,000 for nearly 5 per cent of Anglia Secure Homes, the sheltered housing company.

But Mr Shute, who earler this week acquired a 4.4 per cent interest in GM Firth, the steel group, dismissed speculation that he was making a comeback to the business world. He was forced to resign from BM last year because of ill health.

'I'm on the mend, but will never have the health to make a comeback.

'I haven't got the energy to work for 18 hours a day. I am willing to offer myself in a non- executive role but not on a day to day basis,' he said.

Mr Shute said he had bought the Firth and Anglia stakes as long-term investments.

'Both companies are undervalued and I think that small and medium-size companies will benefit from an economic recovery as long as the Government does not do anything stupid in the Budget,' he added.

He is also considering making further investments in both the engineering and property sectors of the market.

Anglia shares surged ahead by two-thirds to close at 7.5p. Firth's shares rose 1.5p to 16p yesterday; they had been trading at about 10p before Mr Shute's purchase.

He already owns substantial stakes in BM and Ross Group, the consumer electronics company where he is a non-executive director.

However, some dealers believe that Mr Shute could be buying shares for a quick profit. Last January he acquired a 5 per cent stake in Venture Plant, the equipment hire company, but sold out a month later at a substantial profit.

Anglia said yesterday that it would be getting in touch with Mr Shute 'in due course'.