Peter Thompson made those remarks almost four months to the day after the initial Press conference to announce the buy-out concept. Striking the quote may have been, but even so it does not tell the full story, and it could not take into account problems that were to arise subsequently. Reporting the events of October 17, internal NFC publications carried headlines such as: ‘WE’VE DONE IT!’ ‘IT’S A DEAL’; and ‘Tremendous success for the consortium’. It is perhaps a good thing that the major ‘WE’VE DONE IT!’ headline in the October issue of NFC’s Management Bulletin carried in brackets underneath, ‘Well, nearly’. Because even after October 1981 there were many pitfalls to negotiate: the whole deal came within an ace of dying yet again in the week before Christmas, and even after the prospectus was published there was a nail-biting period when it looked as though NFC employees and pensioners were not going to subscribe for the minimum number of shares required of them for the deal to go through.
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