Sugar serves Betacom an ACE
Monday 01 July 1996
Although the transfer of Amstrad Consumer Electronics (ACE) to a company which is 67 per cent-owned by Amstrad is on the face of it little more than an internal housekeeping affair, it is understood to be crucial to the putative takeover that emerged last week.
Psion has said that its interest in Amstrad lies in Dancall, the group's mobile telephone manufacturing operation, its cash pile and possibly Viglen, a computer manufacturer. There was never any doubt that ACE, which has failed to make a profit for three years, would be disposed of in some way.
News of a quick and easy exit from consumer electronics would reassure investors in Psion who last week pushed the personal organiser maker's shares 25p lower to 350p as they worried about the effect the loss-making businesses would have on the enlarged group.
The takeover, for shares, of a company almost as large as itself, is seen as a high-risk strategy for one of the stock market's most successful companies in recent years. David Potter, Psion's chairman, said last week that he viewed the acquisition of Dancall as a key step in maintaining Psion's position in the fast-converging worlds of computing and telecommunications.
Betacom's shares are expected to rise sharply today as investors reflect on the potential to absorb ACE's revenues at little additional cost. Possibly 100 of ACE's 130 staff would not be taken on by Betacom and the reduction in overheads is expected to push ACE back into the black.
That would boost profits at Betacom, which last year made pounds 430,000. In anticipation of some sort of deal, its shares rose 5p to 14.5p last week, valuing the company at just pounds 9.7m.
Buying Betacom would represent fairly small change for Alan Sugar, who will be left with about 17 per cent of the enlarged Psion after any deal is struck between the two companies. At a proposed takeover price of 200p a share, Mr Sugar's stake in Amstrad is valued at around pounds 80m.
So far speculation over his future has centred on Tottenham Hotspur, the premiership football club he chairs. Analysts believe he harbours ambitions to create a rival, in commercial terms, to Manchester United, valued at more than pounds 250m.
arts + entsThere were towering ideas, some scintillating performances and revelatory grooves... our writers pick out their personal highlights
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
elephant appealPrince William signs up for our charity appeal
peoplePrepare to be entranced by worms as the molecular biologist gets ready to give the Royal Institution science lectures
elephant appealSo says man jailed for cutting off dead elephant's tusks
booksWe examine the best titles for teens
voicesPeople moan that Christmas is too commercial, the spirit lost. But it is a time to over-indulge, and always has been, says DJ Taylor
scienceResearchers teach border collie to understand sentences using more than 1,000 words
booksA Christmas story in six parts
travelWill high-value tourism help the workshops of this Renaissance city?
food + drinkA trifle without custard? Surely not! Nonsense – and here’s three to finish your festive meal that prove it
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
Ten best places to live in the UK: Hart in Hampshire takes top spot
'Untrue statements' anger over work to make H5N1 bird-flu virus MORE dangerous to humans
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow attends Justin Bieber Believe premiere
- 1 Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 The publisher who played with fire: the battle for control of Larsson's £30m legacy
- 5 Police seize possessions of rough sleepers in crackdown on homelessness
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£90000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Manager - Financial Servic...
£59999 - £80001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top 10 firm in ...
£50000 - £75000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manage...
£60000 - £90000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...