Ferranti fishing rights landed at a bargain price

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FERRANTI, the electronics group embroiled in a row with shareholders over a token 1p a share takeover bid from GEC, has sold rights to prime fishing on the river Test in Hampshire to its former chairman for what some believe to be less than half its value, writes Jason Nisse.

Ferranti admitted to having had part ownership of 1,800 yards of fishing on the upper part of the Test, one of the most expensive stretches of fishable river in Britain, in a memorandum to bankers this spring.

The rights include a fishing hut and a river keeper's cottage. According to Savills, the estate agents, the rights alone would be worth in the order of pounds 450,000, though Ferranti's share would be valued at only a tenth of that.

It has emerged that Ferranti sold the rights last year to its former chairman, Sir Derek Alun-Jones, for pounds 22,000. Sir Derek was apparently the only bidder.

A spokesman for the company said the price was agreed after an independent valuation by the surveyors John D Wood and that the price had been depressed by the low rainfall in 1991 which had restricted the number of days fishing allowed on the Test.

(Photograph omitted)