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October 20, 1988

CIFER BUYS ATS COMMUNICATIONS BUSINESS, ASSETS, FROM THE RECEIVER

By CBR Staff Writer

Melksham, Worcestershire-based display terminals manufacturer Cifer Plc has made its first acquisition since it was restructured under a mangement buy-in last month. The company has paid UKP788,000 cash for bankrupt telex terminals, message handling and switching products manufacturer ATS Communications Ltd, which is based in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. The cash buys the business and assets of the company but not the liabilities, and gets a blue chip customer list in banking, retailing, media and oil sectors and a UK-wide distribution and maintenance network. The ATS assets being acquired – stocks, work in progress, equipment, has a book value in excess of UKP1m, and the company did UKP8,000 pre-tax on turnover of UKP6.1m for 1987 before plunging into an unaudited UKP303,000 loss on turnover of UKP2.3m for the seven months to July 31 last. Cifer has also tapped Mark Eardley from corporate finance at Barclays de Zoete Wedd to be its director of corporate finance, and Tony Johnson from the board of Fletcher Dennys Plc to be managing director of the existing terminals operations of Cifer.

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