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Electra sells HMSO unit

THE PUBLISHING ARM of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO), which was privatised three years ago, has been sold by Electra Fleming to its existing management team and Apax Partners for pounds 82m.

The Stationery Office Holdings (TSOH) forms about a quarter of the business acquired from the government in 1996 by Electra Fleming for pounds 54m. Electra then invested a further pounds 65m on restructuring.

Apax announced yesterday that Rupert Pennant-Rea, the former deputy governor of the Bank of England, will continue as chairman and Fred Perkins as chief executive of TSOH. The company publishes several household names including Hansard, The Highway Code and Whitaker's Almanack.