Sears pockets pounds 10m after selling satellite shareholding

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(First Edition)

Sears, the clothing and footware retailer, has realised about pounds 9.8m from the sale of its 12.7 per cent shareholding in Satellite Information Services. The buyers are MAI, Lord Hollick's media group, and Racal Electronics. Both are existing shareholders in SIS, which specialises in providing televised racing to betting shops in the UK and Ireland.

The deal enables MAI to lift its stake in SIS by 10.5 per cent to 17.5 per cent for pounds 8.1m in cash.

'The acquisition represents a further move by MAI to strengthen its broadcasting interests by investing in businesses with good growth potential,' said the company.

Racal will take the remaining 2.2 per cent of the Sears' stake, pushing its holding to just over 22 per cent.

SIS was itself set up in 1986 by the then big four bookmakers - Coral, Ladbroke, William Hill and Mecca.

Racal and MAI were brought in as shareholders in 1990.

Sears originally obtained its holding in SIS through its ownership of William Hill which has since been sold.

Sears said it would take the profit on the disposal as a credit in its accounts for the year to end January 1995.

Last year SIS paid out a special pounds 55m cash dividend to its shareholders. As well as Sears these included Ladbroke, Brent Walker, William Hill's current owner, Bass, which owns Coral Racing and the Racecourse Association.