Tribe eyes coin for online expansion

Plan to roll out 20 portal sites in the U.K.

SYDNEY — Australian entertainment and online media company Tribe has hired Bank of America Intl. as its financial adviser, with the aim of raising 50 million pounds ($71.4 million) to establish Tribe’s network of youth portal sites in the U.K.

Tribe, which distribs both film and video, opened its U.K. gateway site — londontribe.com — in October last year. It will shortly begin its U.K. and European road show, and hopes to complete funding for the sites the end of the second quarter, says founder-CEO Milt Barlow. If successful, the model will be used for similar fund-raisings on a country-by-country basis throughout Europe, he adds.

The plan is to roll out 20 portal sites in the U.K. in the next two years. Last June, Tribe completed Australia’s first national grid of city-focused, youth sites. In September, it launched its first international site, in Los Angeles.

Tribe’s equity partners are spirits and wine company United Distillers & Vintners and JP Morgan Capital. Barlow, former Village Roadshow Entertainment CEO, established Tribe in 1998 to produce and distribute product in various media, including theatrical, homevideo and music.

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