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By Andrew M. McCosh, Michael J. Earl

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Burmah has accepted that the Government should acquire 51 per cent of its own interests in the North Sea. ' 1975 ACTIVITIES In the first few weeks ofthe year, the liquidity ofthe firm continued to deteriorate. The board became uncertain whether the company should continue to trade or should go into liquidation. Eventually, they decided to seil the company holding in BP to the Bank of England to cover some immediate needs. The Bank then took an immediate security over other assets ofthe company, especially the Signal Oil shares, to cover the loans it had guaranteed.

This refinery difficulty and asense of uncertainty about the general strategy adopted by Burmah Oil led to considerable discontent on the part of some of Burmah Oil's stockholders. The discontent arose because the expansion in turnover and in capital employed did not seem to be having very much effect in terms of earnings per share growth. Between 1967 and 1971 turnover grew from [,151 million to [,356 million (136 per cent growth). In the same time period the total funds employed by the group grew from [,446 million to [,749 million (68 per cent increase).

When Marty Ziegel, manager of the used car department, found out what Mr Bradley had done, he went to the office and stated forcefully that he would not accept $ I 200 as the valuation of the used car. His comment went as folIows: 'My used car department has to get rid of that used car, unless John (new car department manager) agrees to take it over hirnself. I would certainly never have allowed the customer $ 1200 for that old tub. I would never have given any more than $700, whichis the wholesale price less the costofrepairs.

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