BPCC dampens talk of a flotation later this year

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BPCC, Britain's largest printer, will not be coming to the stock market later this year.

Sources close to the group, which was once part of the Maxwell empire, said reports of an imminent flotation were premature.

The company is currently in the throes of choosing a financial adviser - an appointment that is 'not being made with a flotation mandate in mind', an insider said.

BPCC prints more than 20 million copies of different publications a week, including the Radio Times. It has annual sales of pounds 300m and employs 5,000 people at sites around the country. Armed with backing from Candover Investments and Electra, its management paid Robert Maxwell pounds 265m to buy out the company in 1989.

In the last two years, the industry has slumped. But fierce competition has forced the company to invest in new machinery and incur high debts. It has twice been forced to raise new capital - pounds 40m in 1991 and pounds 20m last year.

BPCC has spent more than pounds 100m on new machinery since the buyout and reduced its debts from pounds 200m to pounds 120m. But interest charges turned a pounds 28m trading profit in 1991 into an overall loss. Results due next month are expected to show a small profit.