Tuesday, July 31, 2007

BSkyB buys Amstrad for £125 million

LONDON (AFP) - British satellite broadcaster BSkyB on Tuesday said it had agreed to buy consumer electronics group Amstrad, which is headed by entrepreneur and founder Sir Alan Sugar.
BSkyB, which buys around one third of its set-top boxes from Amstrad, said it has agreed to pay about 125 million pounds for the group.
Amstrad designs, develops and sells standard and high definition set-top boxes to BSkyB, whose customers use to watch and record pay-TV.
"Sky and Amstrad have had a long and positive relationship," BSkyB chief executive James Murdoch said in a joint statement.
"The acquisition accelerates supply chain improvement and will help us to drive innovation and efficiency for the benefit of our customers," he added.
Pay-TV giant BSkyB said the deal should enhance earnings this year, and would boost its design and development arm at a time when the group is looking to increase its amount of subscribers.
"Amstrad has worked closely with Sky for many years and I cannot imagine a better home for the Amstrad business and its talented people," Amstrad chairman and chief executive Sir Alan Sugar said in the statement.
The 150 pence-per-share takover offer was almost 24 percent higher than the closing Amstrad share price on Monday, and valued Sugar's 27.9 percent stake at about 34.88 million pounds.
The takeover proposal still requires the approval of the company's remaining shareholders.
Sugar -- who founded Amstrad in 1968 -- is best known among Britain's younger generation for his starring role on reality television show The Apprentice, which sees contestants compete for a top job at his group.

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