Dixons set to take over Harry Moore


DIXONS, the British electronic, goods giant, plans to take over the Harry Moore chain by the end of month, but will continue to use the Irish firm's brand name and retain most of its staff, industry sources said last night.

Sources at Harry Moore said that some staff members had been told the takeover was imminent.

Mr Stephen Cloonan, the managing director of Harry Moore, was again unavailable for comment yesterday, as was most of the Harry Moore management team. Company managers were holding a meeting which went on all day. Dixons also refused to comment.

Harry Moore employs around 160 people in seven shops around Dublin. Dixons, which owns over 800 stores in Britain, will keep on most of these, sources said. But some of Harry Moore's administrative and support staff may be laid off, they added.

According to the most recent annual return filed at the Companies Office, Mr Cloonan owns 85 per cent of the company with Mr Pearse Connell holding the remaining shares. But Mr Connell said last night that he no longer had any connection with the firm.

The company had fixed assets of £1.2 million at the date of its last returns in August 1995. Trading profits for the year were just over £100,000.

Dixons, which floated on the London stock market in 1962, announced interim results yesterday for the six months to November 9th last. Profits totalled £57.5 million sterling, up 53 per cent on the same period in 1995.

The company's finance director, Mr Robert Shrager, said Dixons was happy was the results and pleased with the level of business at its new Jervis Street branch.

"You're in the middle of a consumer boom, so it's important to be there," Mr Shrager added.

Industry analysts expressed little surprise yesterday about the takeover, pointing to Dixons' stated aim of expanding rapidly in the Republic.

"Acquisition is the quickest way to get that up and running," one observer noted.