Sky to buy Amstrad

Wants to make its own set-top boxes
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British Sky Broadcasting has had a cash offer for Alan Sugar's Amstrad accepted. Amstrad currently makes three quarters of its money from Sky set-top boxes, supplying around 30 per cent of them.

Sky is offering 150 pence for each share, a premium of around 25 percent on the current Amstrad share proice, which is close to 120 pence. This values Amstrad at around £125 million.

According to the Sky press release, the Amstrad board of directors have voted unanimously to accept the offer, a decision that is now "irrevocable". Sugar's stake in the company is 27.9 per cent, giving him a windfall of around £35 million.

"The acquisition of Amstrad will provide Sky with an in-house design and development capability, which Sky believes will deliver significant operational and financial benefits and enable the Sky Group to source some of its products directly from specialist electronics manufacturers," said the press release.

Sir Alan appears confident that he won't be receiving a taste of his own medicine with the dreaded words "your fired!" "Sky is a great British success story," he effused about the Rupert Murdoch owned company. "I'm proud to have worked so closely with it, and I look forward to continuing to play a part in this exciting business."

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