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October 27, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Cannon Street Investments Plc has announced details of its plans to float off 70% of its Enfield, North London-based Betacom Plc telephone distribution business. Acquired in January 1987 for UKP7m, Betacom has seen sales and pre-tax profit rise from UKP1.9m and UKP33,000 in 1983, to UKP13.4m and UKP2.3m for the year ending December 31 1987, with turnover expected to rise to approximately UKP19m this year. A prospectus will not be issued for another few weeks but Betacom could be valued at UKP30m when it gets a full stock exchange listing, which is expected to be some time before the end of the year. Cannon has invested UKP7.1m to date in Betacom and says it will inject a further UKP8m by way of share capital prior to flotation. Described as one of the biggest telephone suppliers in the UK, Betacom offers a range of telecommunications equipment primarily for the domestic market, but also supplies mini-switchboard systems and fax machines. Manufacturing to specification is carried out in the Far East and marketed under the Betacom label to high street retailers, wholesalers and distributors. Global Telecommunications Laboratories Ltd, which carries out British Approvals Board Telecommunications work, was bought in August for UKP250,000 and the company says it is now in a strong position to enter export markets. Cannon believes Betacom has reached the stage where it can operate successfully as a publicly listed company and the flotation will enable the holding company to reinvest the cash raised in other companies with a high growth potential. A percentage of the shares will be available on a preferential basis to Cannon shareholders and Betacom employees. Cannon is being advised in the float by S G Warburg & Co Ltd, and the stockbrokers are McCaughn, Dyson, Capel, Cure.

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