Pembroke: Dealing in divorce

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DAVID PHILIP, chairman and managing director of Essex- based Ford dealer Dagenham Motors, yesterday sold 2.2 per cent - or 375,000 shares - of his 10.6 per cent in the company at 105p a share. But the company made absolutely sure that his motives were not misunderstood. The sale was part of a divorce settlement, explained the finance director, and the shares closed unchanged at 107p.

By the way, as you can all work out, Mr Philip made pounds 390,000 on the sale. Ouch. It's an expensive business . . .

LLOYD'S NAMES who have lived through the heart-rending plight of having to sell their precious second home - or their even more precious first home - will not have been comforted by a brochure stuffed into the latest literature sent out by Lloyd's. 'Acquire your next home effortlessly,' reads the bumph from a relocation agency, charmingly illustrated with a luscious Georgian pile.

'How do you find your ideal country home, negotiate the best price and take care of the legal details without wasting time, effort and money?' Appoint them as your go-between, it seems. 'Describe your ideal house to us and we will find it for you.'

For 'finding you're (sic) home and guiding you through purchase' the company will bill clients 1.5 per cent, plus VAT, of the house price. And, with a minimum fee of pounds 1,500, the agency is obviously confident that there are still enough names out there keeping their heads down as the money rolls on in . . .

A SMALL business that makes maps for personal organisers, Faxpak, used to confine itself to London, the UK and the battle zones of the M25. Then it decided to expand its range to cover Europe and the Rest of The World. Hopeful of some prestige business, it sent off sample maps to all the foreign embassies, and, indeed, won some orders. The letter to the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, however, elicited this reply from the charge d'affaires:

'Your maps of Europe and of the world show Serbia and Montenegro as two separate entitites rather than a single state, comprising Serbia and Montenegro, now known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. We would be more than glad to order the new maps if they actually represented the true situation.'

With the benefit of hindsight, we think it was a mistake for Faxpak to advertise the maps as 'among the most up-to-date in the world'. You're never going to keep up with the Serbs, Croats and Bosnians.