Company news in brief

BTR, the diversified industrial group at which Ian Strachan recently took over from Alan Jackson as chief executive, said yesterday it is planning to withdraw from Taiwan. The company is seeking prospective buyers for its holding in China General Group, which in turn has investments in five Taiwanese companies. BTR has reportedly failed to reach targeted earnings in the Far East largely dur to problems at its Taiwanese operations.

Avonside, the building group, reported a pounds 5.2m loss for 1995, hit by property write-downs and re-organisation costs. The group, which made a pounds 5.5m profit in 1994, said it was not confid West heartland with prices expected to remain under pressure. The final dividend was axed, leaving shareholders with the 1p interim payout, compared to last year's total dividend of 4.4p.

CE Heath, the insurance broker, yesterday confirmed the demerger of its computer services division Rebus Group which will be seperately listed on the London Stock Exchange. Each CE Heath shareholder will receive one Rebus Share for each CE Heath share held on 9 April1996. CE Heath will continue to be listed following the demerger.In order to provide the demerged company with capital, CE Heath will subscribe pounds 4.5 m for up to a maximum of 7.158 million Rebus shares, equating to a maximum of 9.5 per cent of the enlarged share capital of Rebus.

Wates City of London exchanged contracts yesterday on the previously flagged acquisition of Brittanic Tower from BP. The consideration is in two parts - an upfront payment of pounds 30m followed by a second instalment which depends on the outcome of Wates's proposed development of the City site. Britannic Tower is the second tallest office building in the City of London with 300,000 square feet of space above ground on a site of over 100,000 square feet. Wates has a range of plans for the site, including shopping, entertainment, eating and leisure facilities.

British Airways has awarded a 10-contract worth $2.3bn to General Electric of the US for engine overhauls and repairs. GE said the work would be done at the Nantgarw plant in Wales belonging to its GE Engine Services subsidiary. Engines to be repaired include Rolls-Royce RB211s and Pratt & Whitney JT8 and JT9 engines.

London International, the condom manufacturer, has appointed two new non executive directors. Roger Matthews is group finance director at Compass Group. The other director, Linda Collier, is a consultant and a former corporate finance director at Schroders.

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