Bonanza for Akhter founder

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The Independent Online
Humayan Mughal, managing director of specialist computer manufacturer Akhter, will be worth up to pounds 42m, when the group floats on the London Stock Exchange this summer. Harlow-based Akhter, which is raising pounds 20m in a placing, will be valued at pounds 60m, writes Sameena Ahmad.

Mr Mughal, who with his wife founded the company in 1979, will have his shareholding diluted to around 70 per cent after the float from 83 per cent currently. Though almost two-thirds of the group's business is manufacturing personal computers, Mr Mughal said it was not affected by slowing demand for PCs: "We make very specialised systems exactly to customers requirements. We don't stock finished computers and then have to sell them off at a discount."

Akhter is also developing a higher margin consultancy and services business: "This will become very important." This year the group made pounds 5m of profits before exceptional items on pounds 36m of sales, just 3 per cent up on 1996.

Mr Mughal said the group planned to change its year end from March to June and expand into the healthcare sector to smooth out earnings.