Gestetner to sell Vivitar

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The Independent Online
GESTETNER, the office systems and photographic products company, has agreed to sell its Vivitar and Hanimex camera distribution businesses, excluding Hanimex Australasia, to Concord Camera Corporation of the US for dollars 52.5m ( pounds 27.7m).

Basil Sellers, chairman, said: 'There are two reasons for the sale. Firstly, this is not part of our core business, which is office equipment, and secondly, the camera business does not have a follow-on. In the case of office equipment we have a continuing service and supplies business.'

Gestetner will receive dollars 40m in cash and 1.3 million shares of Concord common stock. It has the right to demand that Ira J Hechler & Associates, a New York investment firm and Concord shareholder, pays dollars 12.5m for the shares on 31 October 1993.

The funds will be used to reduce net debt, which was pounds 96.4m on 30 April at the half-year.

The camera business had worldwide sales of about pounds 90m for the year ended 31 October 1991 and pounds 37m for the six months to 30 April 1992, when it reported a trading profit of pounds 2m and a trading loss of pounds 1.3m respectively.

Gestetner is keeping its film and processing businesses in Australia, New Zealand and Britain. In Australia these include distribution and processing of Fuji film and the right to the Hanimex name.

These remaining photographic businesses made trading profits of pounds 7.2m and pounds 1.7m on sales of pounds 90m and pounds 44m for the 1991 financial year and the first six months of 1992 respectively.

Gestetner paid pounds 68.7m for the entire photographic business in August 1989.

Gestetner ordinary shares fell 6p to 118p and the capital shares lost 1p to 128p.