Serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson and Jonathan Goodwin, one of the founding partners of Lepe Partners, are joining the production company’s board. The changes signalled the new chief executive Mark Wood’s intention to progress in a new strategic direction.
Johnson has previously owned Pizza Express, Giraffe and Strada, and has become involved with newer businesses such as TellTheChef, and is chairman of his own investment firm, Risk Capital Partners.
Wood joined Ten Alps six months ago and, alongside the board changes, said the company had also completed a fundraising round of £4.5m from a variety of investors.
Some of that investment has gone towards buying Reef Television, a British production company which makes the BBC series Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is, along with property programmes such as Selling Houses with Amanda Lamb and Sarah Beeny’s Selling Houses.
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Geldof described the deal as “the best thing for Ten Alps in years”. He is staying on with the business he founded as a shareholder.
The £5m reverse takeover involves a £2m cash up-front payment and a share and cash earn-out spread across three years.
The recent funding round has meant the company can convert £9m worth of debt into equity, and it will hold £2m in debt following the deal.
Wood said the acquisition would be particularly useful for helping the company move into the world of quality TV for streaming services.
“The arrival of new platforms like Netflix is creating new demand for quality of TV programming. Netflix has just started commissioning content and we are well-positioned to benefit,” he explained.
Wood said that while Ten Alps has various components to its business (including publishing with websites and magazines and a communications division), it is “focused on building the TV business”.
“The acquisition of Reef is a big step as it makes us a mid-size player,” he added. Reef’s CEO, Richard Farmborough, suggested the move would enable them to expand into new territories as well as engage with new platforms.
Ten Alps had previously been hampered by its publishing operations, according to Wood – which had been underperforming for a while before the company’s restructuring saw them operating profitably for the first time in six years.
Geldof founded the company alongside Des Shaw and Alex Connock back in 1999 and the first production was current affairs radio programme Sunday Service for BBC Radio Live.
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