Three directors, including two of the best known faces in UK computer leasing, brothers Parry and Ashley Mitchell, have agreed to sell their combined 40% stake in United Leasing Plc to Swiss banking, industrial security and property conglomerate Inspectorate International AG and are recommending outside holders to accept the UKP51m all-cash bid. If, as is likely, the 265 pence a share bid succeeds, it will be Inspectorate’s second takeover of a listed UK computer company within 12 months. Last June (CI No 453), it paid UKP1.65m for lessor and microcomputer dealer CPS Computer Group Plc. The proposed acquisition will add a company with an annual revenue for the year to March 31 1986 of UKP242m – pre-tax profits of UKP4.4m – to an already extensive leasing operation that includes Meridian, like United’s Unilease subsidiary, one of the top 10 US computer lessors. United chairman Parry Mitchell says that he has been looking for a buyer since last summer because the leasing market is rapidly becoming a big boys business and cash flow within the operation was too tight to enable it to write the levels of business on offer. The sale is particularly timely for Parry in view of the forthcoming general election as, although staying on as chairman, he will be able to devote more time to the parliamentary constituency of Salisbury where he is standing as SDP candidate. His brother Ashley steps down as managing director to be replaced by a well-known industry figure. The shares traded at 231p ahead of the offer.
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