Blighty group nabs stake in Target Distrib’n

CSS Stellar also to assume $195,000 debt

LONDON — U.K. sports and entertainment management and marketing group CSS Stellar has acquired a 58.5% stake in Target Distribution from Brit indie producer Tiger Aspect in a part-cash, part-share deal.

CSS Stellar is assuming a debt of £125,000 ($195,000) in the form of a loan, issuing 155,000 ordinary shares at 78¢ each, and is offering $886,000 in cash. Tiger Aspect has agreed not to dispose of its shareholding in CSS Stellar for a year. Alison Rayson, managing director of Target, will continue to run the company.

Target, which reported an operating profit of $338,000 on revenues of $7.3 million in 2001, handles rights to formats such as “Popstars” and new BBC quiz show “The Chair,” hosted by John McEnroe. Company has almost 1,000 hours of popular drama, animation, children’s and light entertainment programming in its library.

Tiger Aspect was a founding shareholder along with Rayson (who holds the balance of Target’s shares) and Talkback Prods. in 1998. Talkback subsequently sold its stake to Tiger Aspect and Rayson when FremantleMedia (then known as Pearson TV) bought the company.

Target is also about to launch a dedicated licensing division to exploit the brand potential of its key entertainment format and animated properties.

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