Cable giant NTL to buy Workplace

Mystery suiter revealed in £81m bid

NTL will buy Workplace Technologies for £81 million in a deal worth 228 pence per share. The deal is due to be completed in 28 days' time and will see Workplace become wholly owned by NTL. The offer values Workplace stock 57 per cent higher than its closing middle market price on August 17, the day before the company announced it was in buyout talks. The telecomms provider said the acquisition would improve its data networks business in the UK and Ireland. "With the complementary strengths that Workplace Technologies provides, NTL will be in a position to increase the long-term growth of our business services division and enhance value for our shareholders," said NTL CEO Barclay Knapp. The move coincided with Workplace announcing a pre-tax loss of £300,000 for the six months ended June 30. The loss followed the acquisition of LanBase, which resulted in £1.5 million goodwill costs, and compared to the previous year's £1.3 million profit. The Hertfordshire-based networking reseller posted sales of 56.2 million, compared to the previous year's £40 million. The loss per share was 2.34 pence. Workplace’s share price was up 12 pence to 225 pence this afternoon on the back of the announcement. Yesterday the reseller saw shares jump 46 per cent to 213 after saying it was in takeover talks. ®

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