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June 22, 1987

SALE OF THORN EMI’S TELEVISION BUSINESS TO THOMSON GRAND PUBLIC – ANTI-COMPETITIVE SAYS AMSTRAD

By CBR Staff Writer

Sale of Thorn EMI’s Ferguson television set – and the odd VDU – manufacturing business to Thomson Grand Public smacks very much of a last gasp from the tired old if at first you don’t succeed, give up Britain than the thrusting new entreprenuerial opportunistic UK of the 1980s, and Alan Sugar certainly sees it that way: he is angry that Amstrad Plc wasn’t given the opportunity to put in a counter-offer and will seek to block the sale by complaining to the EEC Commission that the sale is anti-competitive; to leave no-one in any doubt about his feelings, he described the deal to the Financial Times as a bit naff, and declared that Thorn had taken a dead diabolical liberty in not offering its Ferguson to us; a chastened Thorn received Sugar for talks yesterday, saying that while sale to Thomson had been agreed, in the interests of shareholders it had to listen to other proposals, but Sugar was forced to come away concluding that the deal was too far advanced to be unscrambled.

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