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July 8, 1990

RIVA RUES HUGIN SWEDA ACQUISITION

By CBR Staff Writer

Bolton, Lancashire-based Riva Group Plc appears to have got more than it bargained for when it acquired Hugin Sweda last year. It has announced that the Hugin Sweda subsidiaries in Sweden and Geramny are to go into receivership. Riva had coveted Hugin for years and it is widely believed that it floated in order to raise enough cash to buy the Swedish company and get access to its worldwide distribution network. Well, now Riva has got its prize it has cause to rue its cost. Neither the Swedish or the German operations proved sound enough to survive the weakening market for electronic tills. The Swedish business required more support than its trading prospects merited and West Germany was going to be unprofitable and a drain on resources for the foreseeable future. It would seem that shareholders were right to turn their backs on Riva’s rights issue to raise the UKP3m capital to buy Hugin and clear its UKP21m debts (CI No 1,307). Riva is writing the goodwill on the acquisition down to UKP17m and working out how to distribute its goods in the Swedish and German markets.

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