Film, TV company to delist from stock exchange
LONDON — U.K. and U.S.-based Content Media is set to delist from London’s Alternative Investment Market stock exchange and go private amid a shareholding restructure.The entertainment company, which holds the rights to 200 features and 3,400 hours of TV programming, said Thursday that its directors had “concluded that the costs and obligations of the AIM listing outweigh the benefits” and that its current share structure was blocking growth. Content outlined proposals to remove a £9.8 million ($15.2 million) liability from its balance sheet, which is currently due to preference shareholders and will be paid “as and when the company is able to.” Content, which worked on pics such as “The Pact,” “Ironclad,” and “Rules of Engagement” plus BBC comedy series “Whites,” “Freak Encounters” and “Pretty Tough,” has two classes of shareholders — preference and ordinary. Under the proposals, preference shareholders will forgo their preferred rights and the $15.2 million liability in exchange for receiving 50% of newly constructed ordinary share capital. Existing ordinary shareholders will own the other 50% of the newly restructured share capital and all shareholders will have equal standing. Content will also offer its small shareholders an opportunity to sell their shares via a nil cost dealing facility. Going forward, shareholders will be allowed to trade their shares by private treaty under the privatized outfit. All proposals are subject to shareholder approval at a meeting set for July 5. “For some time the company and its shareholders have sought a solution to the company’s share structure, which we believe has proven an obstacle for growth of the company’s business and overall equity value,” said Content chairman Huw Davies in a statement. “The directors are pleased to announce this solution, which we believe is good news for shareholders and for the company as a whole.” John Schmidt, CEO of Content, added, “We believe these transactions will provide the company with a far better opportunity to grow business and we look forward to the prospect of executing any growth opportunities that arise in the future.” Content’s share price closed down 54% to 32 pence (50 cents). Content listed on AIM, the international market for smaller growing companies, in 1995 when it was named Winchester.