Tag Archives: Daily Express

Motive goes digital with Spanish deal

Published in the Daily Express, September 2010

Around 18 months ago TV production investment outfit Motive Television was forced to close or sell most of its business.

Now, after a major change of strategy, it is using a £4.75million fundraising on Aim to transform itself into a global player in digital television.

Motive was founded in 2005 by Mick Pilsworth and floated on Aim in 2006. It went on to make a string of five acquisitions – including a major stake in Brown Eyed Boy – until the credit crunch derailed its investment plans.

Pilsworth said: “The timing was wrong. We didn’t have enough cash and then we hit the recession.” Last year Motive decided to start afresh, selling Brown Eyed Boy and closing three other companies.

The decision to move into digital followed a chance meeting between Pilsworth and American TV strategist Len Fertig.

He was fresh from a meeting with Spanish firm Adecq Digital, whose software allows broadcasters to provide video on demand over a normal terrestrial aerial. Adecq had deals in Spain and Italy, but was looking for backers with TV industry connections.

After being signed up as chief executive, Fertig inked a global distribution deal with Adecq. Now Motive is using its Aim funds to buy 67.7 per cent of the company, which has launched its services in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Motive, which has been advised by Merchant Securities, has also bought Scottish firm NXVision, whose software allows users to watch TV on their mobile phones.

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Songbird Estates gains value

Published in the Daily Express, September 2010

Songbird Estates, the majority owner of Canary Wharf, announced solid half-year results yesterday in the wake of rising demand for commercial property in London.

The past two years have been turbulent for the property business, which counts Qatari and Chinese investors among its biggest shareholders.

Its portfolio lost more than a quarter of its value in 2008 as the financial crisis struck but began to rise in late 2009 as activity in the financial sector picked up. Songbird said its portfolio had increased in value by 4.3 per cent in the first half of 2010 to £4.8billion.

Profits before tax fell to £13.1million for the half-year, against £89.7million previously. After taking into account the rising property valuation the group made a bottom line profit of £14.2million against losses of £110.9million for the same period last year.

Songbird also announced a £140million fundraising to repay a loan taken last year to buy an increased share of Canary Wharf Group. This follows an emergency £620million fundraising last year to help the company repay a £880million loan.

Shares fell 11dp to 146dp.