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August 18, 1988

MANAGEMENT BUY-IN TO RESCUE FLOUNDERING UKP3.7m CASH INJECTION

By CBR Staff Writer

Troubled computer terminal manufacturer Cifer Plc, which is forecasting losses of UKP210,000 for the year to September 30, has announced that it is to receive a UKP3.7m cash injection as part of a reconstruction package. Lloyds Bank and venture capitalists 3i Plc have agreed to convert UKP1.2m worth of debt into equity and reschedule a further UKP1.2m loan. The Melksham, Wiltshire based company will also receive UKP2.5m worth of new funds from a consortium of new investors headed by Bill Weinstein, a director of computer suppliers MBS Group, and backed by 3i Plc, B & C Ventures Ltd and British & Comonwealth Merchant Bank Plc. The deal involves the issue of 50m new ordinary 5p shares for cash, which will be subscribed at par by the consortium. Shareholders who want to minimise dilution will be able to subscribe for three new ordinary shares of 5p each at par for every two ordinary shares of 10p presently held, and over 23m shares have been provisionally placed with British & Commonwealth Merchant Bank, and will be clawed back to the extent that existing holders take up their rights. LLoyds Bank Plc will capitalise UKP1m of overdraft for 10m of the new 5p ordinaries, while 3i will capitalise UKP200,000 in loans for 2m of the new shares. Under the agreement the 15.6m existing fully paid up ordinary shares will be sub divided into one ordinary share of 5p and one deferred share of 5p. Cifer says that a High Court application for the deferred shares to be cancelled will be made in due course. Terry Cosgrove, managing director, said the money will be used to fund product development and help ease the interest payment burden, which costs the company over UKP300,000 a year out of a turnover of UKP4.2m. Both he and chairman Oliver Newland will resign but will remain on as consultants to the company. Bill Weinstein is becoming non-executive chairman while Michael Williams, a former director of Systems Reliability, and Peter Ligertwood are joining the board. Both Mr Williams and Mr Ligertwood, along with MBS chairman Owen Williams will invest in the firm.

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