Amstrad is to sell its Dancall mobile phone business in a move which analysts believe could mark the beginning of the sale of the rest of the company's assets, including its Viglen PC unit.
Dancall will be sold for #92 million to Robert Bosch, a European car component and electronics group which is seeking to enter the GSM digital telephone market.
According to Amstrad chairman Alan Sugar, "the virtues and potential of Dancall have never been fully appreciated by the shareholders or the financial institutions, principally due to the lack of profits since we acquired the company for #6.3 million in September 1993".
Sugar also said that following Psion's attempt to buy Dancall last year, he had "sensed a growing interest" in the business which increased as new products were developed. Psion had intended to incorporate the GSM technology into its hand-held computers.
Sugar admitted Amstrad's philosophy had not lent itself to running a business in the long term. "One has only to look back at Amstrad's record over the past 25 years, when we successfully ruled the hi-fi, wordprocessor, personal computer and satellite markets in the early stages, only to see the major players move in after us and take our markets through their sheer size and distribution," said Sugar.
His remarks prompted speculation that Sugar may be intending to break up and sell other Amstrad assets, including its Viglen PC manufacturing business and Betacom consumer electronics group.
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