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Apex, based near Lingfield, Surrey, were established in 1994 and are dealers and auctioneers of postage stamps from around the world.

Apex conduct approximately three public and four postal auctions a year and have in the region of 5000 clients including approximately 1000 stamp dealers. Last year they turned over £1.9m.

At a price of up to £1.25m, Apex become a wholly owned subsidiary of Noble and, over the next few months, all their operations will be transferred to Noble's premises in London at 11 Adelphi Terrace.

The directors of Apex will continue managing the business and intend to grow it as the stamp division of Noble. This is expected to increase the number of auction catalogues produced within the Noble Group to approximately 22 from the present 15.

Noble told shareholders Apex had been acquired for up to £1.25m depending upon performance - the initial consideration of £875,000 is to be satisfied by the issue of 54,153 ordinary shares.