In Brief

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The Independent Online
Geo Interactive Media, the Internet products developer, plans to join the Alternative Investment Market by way of a placing. The company, which has developed a product called Emblaze that allows users to access animation, sound and video, also announced the appointment of three non- executive directors. They are David Golman, who founded Sage; Chris Evans, who founded Chiroscience; and Peter Sheldon, a director of World of Leather. Price Waterhouse is the nominated adviser.

Owen & Robinson, the retailing group, warned that full-year profits would fall short of analysts' expectations despite encouraging trading at its three recently opened stores. Maurice Dwek has resigned as a director and chairman to concentrate on his private business interests. He is being succeeded as chairman by Egon von Greyerz, who spent 17 years at Dixons Group, where he held several positions including vice chairman and group finance director.

TR European Growth Trust has allowed its offer for the pounds 500m Kleinwort European Privatisation Investment Trust to lapse after securing acceptances of only 3.04 per cent, representing 15.195 million shares.

Capital & Regional Properties reported an active first half, both in terms of leasing and acquisitions, and simultaneously announced the purchase of a pounds 15m leisure complex in Wolverhampton. Rental income for the six months to June rose from pounds 4.9m to pounds 7.9m, and profits before tax climbed from pounds 2m to pounds 2.5m. Since January, tenant demand, particularly for retail properties, has accelerated, resulting in clear indications of rental growth, said Martin Barber, chairman of Capital.

Ashtead Group, the equipment rental group, has bought Astra Pumps & Plant for an initial cash consideration of Irpounds 3.9m. Astra hires pumps and non-operated plant in the Irish Republic. In the year ended 30 June 1996, the company increased its pre-tax profits by 60 per cent to Irpounds 800,000 on turnover up 18 per cent to Irpounds 4.5m.

Huntleigh Technology has acquired Hoskins Healthcare, the Birmingham- based hospital bed manufacturer, from the receivers, Deloitte & Touche, for an undisclosed sum.

Peter Black Holdings has paid Scholl pounds 2.5m for Gerard House, a maker of herbal medicines, essential oils and aromatherapy products. Gerard had sales of pounds 2.5m in 1995.

Polypipe, the building materials company, has purchased Norflex Holdings for pounds 2.9m plus further payments of up to pounds 800,000 dependent on profits from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 1999. Norflex, based in Horncastle, Lincolnshire, is involved in plastic pipes.

London International Group is selling its remaining Woodward's Gripe Water and Teething Gel businesses in Southern Africa, Canada, the Far East and Australasia for pounds 5.6m to Seton Healthcare Group.