TSW dons military boots in reverse takeover

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The Independent Online
TELEVISION South West, which lost its franchise last year, is to turn itself into a safety footwear company through the acquisition of UK Safety for pounds 9.5m.

John Roberts, TSW's finance director, said the board had looked at several options, including liquidation.

However, it had decided a reverse takeover was the best route to realise value for shareholders.

The company will change its name to UK Safety and will be run by the management of the footwear concern.

All remaining TSW directors will resign, except Mr Roberts, who will stay on for a few months to oversee the remaining TV assets.

These include studios in Plymouth and a stake in the company that owns the Astra satellite.

TSW, which ceased broadcasting on 31 December, reported pre-tax profits of pounds 9.2m for 1992, against pounds 2m the previous year.

But there were extraordinary charges of pounds 4.8m relating to the winding down of the station and redundancies.

Mr Roberts said the company had net assets of 50.8p a share at the end of the year.

They were suspended at 28.5p in January.

He said he expected them to begin trading again on 5 May after an extraordinary meeting to approve the deal with UK Safety.

TSW is paying a final dividend of 3p, giving a total of 5p.

UK Safety was bought by management from Ward White in 1988. It made pounds 1.4m before tax on turnover of pounds 33.7m last year.

Its principal customer is the Ministry of Defence which it supplies with soldiers' boots.

The deal includes a pounds 1.5m, one-for- six TSW rights issue, the proceeds of which will go to Schroder Ventures, which backed the UK Safety buyout.