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Acorn PLC closure Press Release
 Beebware International's reaction to the news that as of
 the 17th of September 1998, the Acorn Group PLC will cease
 to produce workstations.
In a shock announcement on the 17th of September, the Acorn
Group PLC ('Acorn') announced that it was closing its
workstation division, postponing the annual 'convention' Acorn
World 98, and cancelling the Pheobe Risc PC 2 project. 75
staff have also been made redundant due to this, leaving only
100 staff employed at Acorn. A large number of staff are
expected to be 'relocated' to Acorn's 50% owned education
specialist 'Xemplar'. Acorn made this move to concentrate
it's core business around digital television set-top boxes
(although it has been producing desktop computers for over
19 years).
Since this announcement was made there has been considerable
unrest in the Acorn market (with shares going from 85p at close
of trading on the 17th tumbling down to a new 1998 low of
79.5p per share) and several organisations have made 'noises'
on the internet's USENET news service that they are trying
to 'rescue' not only Acorn World, the Pheobe Risc PC 2 project
but also the entire Acorn Workstation division.
Therefore, due to these drastic changes in the Acorn computer
market, Beebware International has taken the commercial decision
to temporarily suspend trading of its software trading division -
Beebware Software. Beebware Software had planned to announce
the release dates of its latest products for Acorn's RISC OS
operating system ('BWAntBot' and an as yet unnamed project)
at Acorn World (was 16th to the 19th of October 1998).
Beebware Software will recommence trading as soon as 'the future
of 32-bit computing' is known.
Beebware International, as a group, will continue trading as per
normal, but the Beebware Software division will only continue to
develop software during this period, but will not be selling or
'bringing to market' any software either in development or
currently on sale. Technical support of Beebware Software's
products, however, is unaffected.
Beebware International offers its sympathises to those staff
from Acorn who have been made unemployed, and we also offer
our sympathises to those staff who 'walked out' and terminated
their employment with Acorn a few months ago. This
was the first sign that anything was 'amiss' at Acorn as
Peter Bondar, who was known to the Acorn market as 'the face of
Acorn' and was well known, was one of the staff to leave.
An announcement will be placed on the Beebware International and
Beebware Software websites when the decision to reopen
Beebware Software is decided.
We at Beebware International hope that stability in the Acorn
market can be found soon and we will help support, morally
and if necessary financially, any move to help stabilise the
Acorn market.
Richard Chiswell,
Chief Executive Officer,
Beebware International.
Acorn Group PLC - 645 Newmarket Road, Cambridge, CB5 8BP
 Telephone: +44 (0)1223 725000
 Fax: +44 (0)1223 725100
 Web: http://www.acorn.com
Xemplar Education - The Quorum, Barnwell Road, Cambridge, CB5 8RE
 Telephone: +44 (0)1223 724724
 Fax: +44 (0)1223 724324
 Web: http://www.xemplar.co.uk
Beebware International, Forest Road, Huncote, Leicester, LE9 3BH.
 Telephone Sales: +44 (0)7050 611290
 Support: +44 (0)7050 611291
 Fax : +44 (0)7050 611293
 Web : http://www.beebware.com
Press release by Beebware International on 20th September 1998
A copy of this press release will shortly be available from the
'Press Releases' section of the Beebware International website
available at: http://www.beebware.com/beebware/