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22 per cent stake in SIS changes hands.

Byline: Howard Wright

BETTING-SHOP information provider SIS has undergone its biggest share transfer for several years after Caledonia Investments agreed to pay electronics group Thales pounds 18 million for its 22 per cent stake, writes Howard Wright. Thales, which came into SIS in the days when it was Racal and headed by Sir Ernest Harrison, made it known last autumn that it was ready to move out.

Caledonia, a quoted investment trust company built by the Cayzer family of shipping fame, describes itself as ``a supportive and constructive long-term investor'', and SIS chairman Howard P erlin yesterday welcomed its arrival, which will take executive director John May on to the board.

P erlin said: ``Once Racal was bought by the French company Thales, it was inevitable that sooner or later it would want to tidy up its portfolio, and SIS couldn't have been high on its list of priorities.

``With that in mind, its departure doesn't perturb us, since we are exchanging one long-term investor for another. Caledonia is a very reputable company, with a strong record of support, which takes particular care to look at the management of any company in which it invests.''

Caledonia's stake is the second-largest in SIS, about a percentage point behind Ladbrokes and a couple in front of United Business News, whose own search for a buyer is understood to have been called off.

The other SIS shareholders are William Hill, the Racecourse Association and the Tote.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:May 14, 2005
Words:243
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