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Viglen shareholders jump for Sugar offer

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Viglen Technology's shareholders have ignored executive chairman Alan Sugar and accepted his bid to buy them out of the company. Shareholders accounting for 22 per cent of the company accepted the purportedly reluctant takeover bid of Sugar's wholly-owned holding company, Amshold. Sugar's 24p per share offer for the PC builder is now unconditional, following the result, which increases Amshold's control of Viglen share capital to 63.76 per cent. Viglen shareholders acted against Sugar's recommendation to refuse the offer -- which undervalued the company, he argued. The move came after Sugar, also Tottenham Hotspur chairman, bought more than nine million shares last month at 24p, taking his stake in the company to 41.7 per cent. This obliged him under Takeover and Mergers rules to make an offer for all remaining shares. Nick Hewer, Sugar's spokesman, denied shareholders were bailing out because they had lost confidence in the Middlesex-based company. He stated: "When the offer went in, the shares were at 14p. Sugar's offer was 24p. They saw it as a good deal." IDC analyst Terry Ernest-Jones countered: "Viglen's shareholders probably feel insecure because the company is in a state of change at the moment." ®

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