Sugar buys Learning Technology

The Amstrad founder will buy out the company formerly known as Viglen, once part of the Amstrad empire

Sir Alan Sugar, the entrepreneur best known for creating the Amstrad consumer electronics giant, has succeeded in buying back Amstrad's former PC arm, Learning Technology, so that he can take it private.

Through investment vehicle Amshold, Sugar will pay 40p per share of Learning Technology, valuing the company at £35.6m, the company announced on Thursday. Sugar is currently chairman and chief executive of Amstrad, and through his stake in Learning Technology owns about 30 percent of the company.

Previous to the buyout offer, Sugar already owned about 70 percent of Learning Technology's shares.

Learning Technology, formerly known as Viglen, went public in 1997 and its share price peaked at 270p in 2000. However, its shares have sunk as low as 28.5p in recent weeks. Amshold said that the declining share price was a factor in the buyout decision.

"This lack of market interest and the dwindling share price has been frustrating for Amshold as the majority Learning Technology shareholder, and has also had a demoralising effect on the employees and management of Learning Technology," the company said in a statement.

Learning Technology is to go private from the end of this month.

Learning Technology's custom PCs and servers are sold mostly to schools, with corporations and government agencies also among its major customers.

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