TSW keeps plans for UK Safety takeover

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TELEVISION South West, which yesterday suspended its shares at 29p, hopes to go ahead with a reverse takeover of UK Safety Group, a Bristol-based shoe manufacturer, but not until after its audited results in February.

Talks have been temporarily shelved while TSW values its assets, which include a long lease on a 1 1/2 -acre site in central Plymouth, a stake in the Astra satellite and broadcasting equipment.

According to one source, a reverse takeover of UK Safety is 'a probability'. TSW would become a shell for UK Safety, which is looking for a stock market listing. But a winding-up of TSW is still an option if talks fail.

UK Safety, a management buyout backed by Schroder Wagg, is attracted to TSW's blue-chip institutional shareholders, which include Prudential and Save & Prosper, and its growing cash pile, now more than pounds 4m.

TSW lost its franchise at the new year and has been winding down its operations. The complex of offices, workshops and studios, which once employed 350 people, is reduced to a skeleton staff of 25. Last month TSW's chairman, Sir Brian Bailey, alerted shareholders to the plan to suspend the shares.