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TEST 9

This is the Business English Certificate Higher 4, Listening Test 1.

Part One. Questions 1 to 12

You will hear Jack Lester, founder of Hinde Instruments Corporation, a telescope manufacturer, giving a talk about the development of his company.

As you listen, for questions 1 to 12, complete the notes, using up to three words or a number.

After you have listened once, replay the recording.

You now have 45 seconds to read through the notes

[pause]

Now listen, and complete the notes.

[pause]

My name is Jack Lester and I’m here to talk about the company I originally founded in nineteen seventy-two, Hinde Instruments. Today, the company, with factories in Nevada and Texas and its headquarters in California, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of telescopes. Sales have grown at a rate of thirty-six per cent for the last ten years and in two thousand and two, reached one hundred and twenty-six million dollars. But this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, in nineteen ninety-one, the threat of bankruptcy was hanging over the company.

I’ve always been an amateur astronomer and started building my own telescopes when I was ten. After working as an engineer at WAC, it seemed quite natural to start my own telescope company, Hinde Instruments. To start with, the company imported telescopes and sold them by mail order, but by nineteen seventy-seven, the company was making its own telescopes. Almost overnight, we took a huge portion of the market, amateur astronomers being keen to buy our telescopes because of the features they offered. By nineteen eighty-three, sales reached two million dollars.

In nineteen eighty-six, I sold the company for six point five million dollars to the Amtex Group, staying on as President. From the start, I disagreed with the new owners, and things did not go well. Then the sky fell in. In February nineteen ninety- one, the bank called in the company’

’s loans. There was no cash at the time. In fact, the company’s balance sheet gave a net worth of minus two point five million dollars for nineteen ninety-one, the company having lost that much the previous year on sales of eleven point five million dollars.

I made a personal loan to the company of sixty- five thousand dollars to stave off the bank for one week so I could start to negotiate with three senior managers at Hinde interested in buying the company. It worked, and Amtex agreed to sell us one hundred per cent of the company’s stock, along with all its liabilities, for one thousand dollars. As the key investor, I purchased fifty-one per cent of the company for five hundred and ten dollars.


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