Founded in 1966, Betacom is an electronics company specialising in audio and visual products. In 1992 Sir Alan Sugar's Amstrad purchased a 29.9% stake in the company from Canon Street Investments PLC. A rights issue and subscription increased Amstrad's shareholding in Betacom to 71.3%. Betacom, a UK-based domestic telephone supplier provided Amstrad with a foothold in the developing telecommunications market .
The following year, repayment and cancellation of share capital involving a scheme of arrangement, as a result of which Amstrad's shareholding in Betacom reduces to 66.2%
In 1996, Amstrad granted Betacom a licence to use the Amstrad brand on consumer electronics products.
In 1997 Amstrad plc was de-listed from the stock exchange and each shareholder received loan notes, shares in Viglen Technology plc (a newly listed company), shares in Betacom plc and a letter of entitlement to the potential net proceeds arising from two court cases. In November of the same year, Betacom plc changed its name to Amstrad PLC.