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May 18, 1988

HAWTHORN LESLIE INVESTS UKP15m TO GET INTO CELLULAR PHONES WITH TWO TAKEOVERS

By CBR Staff Writer

Video games, leisure and electronic distribution company Hawthorn Leslie Plc is set to enter the cellular radio business with the planned acquisition of two Racal Vodafone service retailers ECT Cellular Ltd and London Car Telephones Ltd, for UKP15.25m in total. The industrial holding group will pay UKP11.25m for ECT, an eight year-old company based in North London which has 10,000 subscribers under its belt. It had planned to seek a public flotation last year, but was stymied by Meltdown Monday. London Car, a UKP5m Croydon-based outfit has been valued at UKP4m and claims to be enlisting 100 new subscribers a week onto the Vodafone network: Hawthorn has placed 15m ordinary shares to meet the ECT takeover costs: existing Hawthorn shareholders can apply for one new for every 10.5 shares held, at 40 pence per share. A further 10m ordinary shares will be issued to satisfy the UKP4m consideration for London Cellular. Hawthorn intends to apply for an Official Listing for its shares following final results for year to August 31 1988. The company expects the acquisitions to increase the breadth of its industrial base and to boost its status as a potential player in the mobile communications market, according to chairman Remo Dipre.

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