Even after its break-up, Alan Sugar's Amstrad group faced pressure on two fronts this week. Hard drive company Seagate said it will appeal against a High Court award of #86 million in damages to Amstrad. Meanwhile, Amstrad spin-off Viglen floated on the Stock Exchange on Monday with the share price starting at 64.5 pence, giving it an overall market valuation of around #80 million, less than expected by City analysts.
Alan Sugar, chairman of Amstrad, has a 20 per cent stake in Viglen, diluted from 34 per cent after investment bank Deutsche Morgan Grenfell advised him that such a large shareholding could adversely affect the flotation.
Shareholders in Amstrad, which was dissolved last week, have already received 163 pence a share in cash and options in Viglen and Betacom stock. Those shareholders have also been given so called "litigation certificates" based on money won in recent legal battles against both Western Digital and Seagate, in which Amstrad alleged its business had suffered because it had been supplied with faulty drives.
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