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  Amstrad PLC Company Profile  
  A Brief History  
   
1968 Amstrad founded by the present Chairman Alan Sugar, trading in electrical goods.  
   
1970 First manufacturing venture embarked upon. Lower prices were achieved by injection moulding plastic hi-fi turntable covers, severely undercutting competitors who used the vacuum forming process. Manufacturing capacity is expanded to the production of audio amplifiers and tuners.  
   
1980

Amstrad lists on the London Stock Exchange.

Amstrad doubles in size each year during the early 1980s.

 
   
1984 Amstrad launches the first mass market Home Computer package (CPC range), designed by Amstrad engineers in the UK. This product captures the market from the existing players Commodore and Sinclair.  
   
1985 Amstrad launches the first mass market dedicated Word processor (PCW 8256). This product opens up a previously untapped market.  
   
  1986

Amstrad launches the first mass market IBM compatible PC (PC 1512). At 399 this unit is less than a quarter of the price of established market leaders.

Within 6 months of its launch, Amstrad captures 25% of the European Personal Computer market.

The introduction of the PC1512 alters the face of the computer market throughout Europe and brings Amstrad international recognition as a major force in the home and business computer sectors.

 
   
  1989

Amstrad launches the first mass market Satellite Receiver/Dish package for Sky TV and becomes the European Number One supplier of Satellite receivers.

Amstrad launches the first combined Fax, Telephone and Answering machine, acquiring 52% of the personal fax market.

 
   
1990 Amstrad launches the first integrated Satellite Receiver/Decoder for Sky TV.  
   
  1992 Amstrad purchases 29.9% stake of Betacom PLC from Canon Street Investments PLC. A rights issue and subscription increases Amstrad's shareholding in Betacom to 71.3%. Betacom, a UK based domestic telephone supplier provides Amstrad with a foothold in the developing telecommunications market.  
   
1993 Amstrad acquires Dancall Telecom (for c8m) a Danish dedicated telecommunications manufacturer specialising in cordless phone technologies: CT0, CT1, GSM, PCN and NMT450. The acquisition enhances UK CT2 research resources and facilitates access to the Scandinavian market.

Amstrad launches the world's first Personal Digital assistant (PDA600).

Repayment and cancellation of share capital involving a scheme of arrangement, as a result of which Amstrad's shareholding in Betacom reduces to 66.2%
 
   
1994

Amstrad acquires Viglen computers, the UK's leading supplier of computers direct to end users.

Amstrad Direct launches in the UK, supplying computers and faxes direct to the public.

 
   
1995 Amstrad acquires Dataflex design communications, a specialist in modems.  
   
1996

Amstrad launches Dancall GSM mobile phones.

Amstrad grants Betacom a licence to use the Amstrad brand on consumer electronics products.

 
   
1997

Alan Sugar appointed Chairman of the Board at Betacom.

Amstrad launches Dancall dual band mobile phone (World phone).

Amstrad sells Dancall Telecom to German telecoms manufacturer Bosch Telecom for c96m.

Amstrad launches Cable Receiver/Decoder STB for Foxtel in Australia.

Amstrad awarded a contract to supply advanced Interactive Digital Set top boxes to British Sky Broadcasting PLC.

Amstrad's consumer electronics and satellite business is sold to Betacom.

Amstrad PLC is de-listed from the stock exchange and each shareholder receives loan notes, shares in Viglen Technology PLC (a newly listed company), shares in Betacom PLC and a letter of entitlement to the potential net proceeds arising from two court cases.

Betacom PLC changes its name to Amstrad PLC (Nov.)

 
   
1998

Amstrad announces an agreement with Cable & Wireless Communications to sell Cable & Wireless branded telecom products into the retail market.

Amstrad commences supply of multiple products to BSkyB to facilitate digital interactive services.

 
   
  1999

Amstrad DRX100 (Digital Satellite Receiver) awarded 'What Satellite TV' award for 'Best Sky Receiver'

Amstrad sells Betacom, Answercall and Cable & Wireless branded telecommunications business to Alba PLC for 4M in cash.

 
   
2000

Amstrad launch the e-m@iler, a personal communication centre incorporating fully featured telephone with full email capabilities.

Amserve, a subsidiary of Amstrad, is established to manage the retail sales and distribution of the em@iler, deliver advertising into consumers' homes and generate email revenue from the em@iler.

Amstrad announces Britannia Music and Direct Line Financial Services as the first companies to sign-up and participate in direct advertising programmes on the em@iler.

Amstrad announces that Dixons Group plc has taken a 20% stake in its wholly owned subsidiary, Amserve Ltd, in a £15 million deal.

Amstrad announces it is the first company to have received full type approval from BSkyB for its new DRX200 Digital Set Top Box incorporating the new ST5512 chipset.

 
   
  2001 Jack Straw and Sir Alan Sugar launch e-m@iler watch, a revolutionary new scheme which allows Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators to communicate with the Police in near virtual time by means of Amstrad e-m@iler communication centres installed within their homes.

Amstrad releases its next generation Digital Set Top Box, the DRX300.

Amstrad add HSBC, Jungle.com and Blue Square to its ever increasing list of advertisers on the e-m@iler.
 
   
  2002 Amstrad launch the e-m@ilerplus, the next generation e-m@iler, which now offers internet access and allows you to download and play Sinclair ZX Spectrum games  
   
  2003 Amstrad signs two separate new manufacture and supply agreements with BSkyB, the first for Sky+ set top boxes and the second for a new Sky branded combined keyboard and remote control unit.  
   
  2004 Amstrad commences shipment of Sky+ set top boxes to BSkyB.

Amstrad announces an order to supply digital satellite set top boxes to the Italian broadcaster, Sky Italia. First shipments commence ahead of schedule.

Amstrad launches E3 - the 3rd generation of emailer superphone. The E3 Videophone allows Britons to 'look who's talking' by making video calls to other E3 phones.
 
   
  2005 Amstrad announces an agreement with BSkyB to develop and supply a new PVR box.  
   
  2006 Amstrad plc announces new product launch, the DRX700i digital satellite high definition (HD) set top box, produced for Sky Italia.  
     
  2007 On 31 July 2007 Amstrad announced that it had agreed terms for a recommended cash offer to be made for Amstrad by BSkyB. On 5th September 2007 it was announced that this offer was unconditional in all respects. On 8 October 2007, Amstrad was de-listed from the London Stock Exchange.  
     
  2008 On 30 June 2008 Sir Alan Sugar stepped down as Chairman and CEO of Amstrad, in a planned move following the Company’s acquisition by BSkyB in September 2007. For the ten months since the acquisition, Sir Alan has worked closely with Amstrad's Managing Director Alun Webber, who took over the day-to-day running of the Company following the acquisition.