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January 17, 1988

?1.5m PERSONAL COMPUTERS ACQUISITION ADDS GRIST TO QUEST’s MILL

By CBR Staff Writer

On Friday, Quest Group Plc strengthened the UK side of its business with the purchase of Grist Business Services Ltd and Grist Advanced Systems Ltd for a total of around ?1.5m, in a move foreshadowed last month (CI No 835). In its last financial year, Quest derived only one-third of its ?29m revenue from the UK but the acquisitions lift the home proportion to nearly 50% and help reduce the group’s dependence on the volatile Eastern bloc that has in recent years accounted for most of its business. Quest, based in Chand-lers Ford, Hampshire, is paying 1.35m shares for fellow IBM Personal Computer dealer and near neighbour Grist. At Friday’s price of 115p up 10p on the day, the deal values ?6m per-annum Grist at ?1.55m, roughly six times its still-to-be audited 1987 earnings. The combined UK operation, forecast to do ?20m turnover in 1988, will be headed by Grist founder and managing director Colin Coxon who also joins the main board.

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