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February 17, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

Almost by accident, Pittencrieff Plc, a small Scottish oil company based in Edinburgh, has picked up a mobile radio telephone network, mainly in Texas, and now it plans to cash in. The company assembled the network by buying up franchises held by tiny operators, and it now plans to float the Pittencrieff Communications Inc business, now doing $25m a year, up from just $350,000 three years ago, hoping to raise about $50m while retaining control. The flotation will probably be for a listing on Nasdaq. The company now controls a Specialised Mobile Radio telephone network throughout most of Texas and New Mexico with extensions into neighbouring states over an area of some 500,000 square miles. The company says that to date, it has grown the mobile communications business with parent equity issues, borrowings secured against its oil and gas assets, and use of the free cash flow generated by both the mobile communications and oil and gas businesses. But it has now reached a size such that the oil and gas business can no longer support its future growth ambitions. But before the flotation – likely to be around mid-year – the company has bought another present for Pittencfrief Communications. It is paying $6.65m for the Specialised Mobile Radio business of Francis Communications Corp in El Paso, Texas, which generated unaudited pre-tax profits of about $750,000 in 1992.

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