Thomas creates fat cats as shares steam ahead

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The Independent Online
Thomas the Tank Engine steamed to a 29.5p premium yesterday as dealings began in the shares of Britt Allcroft, which owns the television and video rights to the children's favourite, writes Tom Stevenson.

The 23 per cent premium to the 130p placing price made fat-cat controllers of Britt Allcroft and co-founder Angus Wright who own 14 per cent each of the company.

Britt Allcroft acquired the world-wide TV, video and character merchandising rights to Thomas in 1981 for just pounds 51,000. At yesterday's close the company was valued at pounds 37.5m.

Another big beneficiary of Thomas's express-train debut is former Beatle Ringo Starr, who narrates the videos and owns 5 per cent of Britt Allcroft. His stake was worth almost pounds 2m.

About 4.7million shares were sold by existing shareholders in the flotation.