Wharfedale to acquire Mission

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The Independent Online
BRITAIN'S two well-known hi-fi loudspeaker manufacturers are joining forces via the pounds 4.1m takeover of Mission, a private company, by Wharfedale.

The deal was accompanied by a sharply higher full-year loss at Wharfedale. The taxable deficit has soared from pounds 1.74m to pounds 3.3m. There is no dividend.

Mission, owned by Centralforce Holdings, is a former subsidiary of Polly Peck International, the fresh fruit and electronics company, which went into receivership last year and is the subject of an inquiry by the Serious Fraud Office.

Mission was bought out by Farad Azima, its founder, from the receivers last September. Earlier that year the company's manufacturing site was seriously damaged in a fire.

Wharfedale is financing the acquisition with the issue of 38 million shares, of which 9.5 million will be retained by the vendors. The balance are the subject of a vendor placing at 10.5p a share, and are being offered to existing shareholders under clawback provisions.

In addition, the group is allotting 10 million warrants to Mission's owners, enabling them to subscribe for ordinary shares at 16p each.

Mission, which also makes amplifiers and compact disc players under the Cyrus label, has been operating from temporary premises since the fire, but is moving to a new site in Huntingdon.

In the nine months to 30 June, Centralforce made an operating profit of pounds 793,000 on sales of pounds 8.2m. The results include pounds 610,000 proceeds from an insurance claim. Net assets amounted to pounds 2.6m.