Pembroke: A long time tunnelling

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The Independent Online
Early believers in a tunnel to France have waited 112 years for it, but yesterday their patience paid off when Channel Holdings, formerly Channel Tunnel Investments (est. 1881), paid out a 1p dividend. It intends to 'reduce further intervals betwen dividend payments to six months.'

But before Sir Alastair Morton seizes upon this as some excuse for Eurotunnel's dismal performance (nowt expected until 1999 or 2000) readers should recall that Channel Holdings merely reversed into the shell of Channel Tunnel Investments and has turned instead to locking wheel nuts, steering wheel locks and burglar alarms.

Interesting that as Heinz announces it will shrink its UK operations, it launches a pounds 5m advertising campaign here with the slogan 'Heinz buildz Britz'. What a nerve.

It turns out that 'Crazy Eddie' Antar, the New York electronics retailer infamous for late-night television ads boasting that prices were INSAAANE]]], defrauded his nearest and dearest, as well as, allegedly, hundreds of customers, shareholders and suppliers. Mr Antar, who went on trial on racketeering and fraud charges yesterday, has agreed to pay dollars 42m to a group of former bondholders that includes his father and two brothers. Mr Antar Sr can expect to receive about 10 cents on every dollar he invested.

The intrepid Smith New Court leisure analysts, whose previous visits have included an M25 motorway service station and a TV rental outfit in New York's South Bronx, have now returned from Warner's South Warren holiday centre on Hayling Island, near Portsmouth. Roy Owens, the analyst who shouldered the onerous trip, reports back that the owner, Rank Organisation, is to transform the site into an 'adult-only' centre. He is reluctant to describe what this involves but colleagues say he has worn a sly smile since his return.

Lord Hanson - beware. Martin Moir, who holds about 100 shares, is planning to circulate the group's institutional shareholders criticising its performance, advocating that it swallow its own medicine and break itself up, and suggesting the formation of a shareholders committee. After a previous spell of shareholder activism - a mid-1960s campaign against HJ Baldwin - he ended up chairman.

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