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Technology / AI and automation


Persona Group Plc, Chessington, Surrey has set 160 pence a share as the price for its placing. It is offering 8.4m shares, representing about 69.5% of the enlarged equity. Of those shares 1.6m are new and will raise about UKP2.0m net for the company. Out of this amount UKP570,000 is being used to redeem preference shares and pay dividends, the rest being added to working capital. The brokers are Beeson Gregory Ltd. The group has two subsidiaries – Persona and Faculty. The main subsidiary, Persona, is a UK distributor of personal computer and communications products. Its business lies in buying products from manufacturers, mainly in the US, and distributing to resellers who are in the UK. It also provides consultancy and technical services to resellers, having a general policy of only reselling those to which it can add value, rather than focussing on early life products where volumes are too low, or on commodity products. Value is added in terms of educating the sales staff who will be selling the product and developing joint marketing plans with customers. Focussing on established but growing market areas, the firm’s business mainly lies in internetworking and intelligent hub products. The smaller of the two divisions, Faculty, acts as a complementary subsidiary by offering specialist training and consultancy services mainly to end users of network and communications products. At present Persona has 13 supplier relationships, five of which were formed in 1993. Suppliers include 3Com Corp, SynOptics Communications Corp, Standard Microsystems Corp, and Mountain Computer Inc. The placing is to raise the profile of the group and enhance its reputation with both its suppliers and customers, and to allow for future growth. For the year to December 31, group turnover was UKP22.9m and pre-tax profit stood at UKP1.7m.

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