Wednesday May 16, 2012 : MEDIA CORP UPHEAVAL (Update)
Acquisition abandonment and announcements, resignations, loan applications and disappointing HY results in a flurry of media advisories.
Purple Lounge online casino parent company Media Corporation PLC's reverse takeover plans on Gaming Media Group Limited have been abandoned as the company embarks on what it terms as a "preferable deal for shareholders" with the announcement of the acquisition of the soon-to-be launched Intabet online betting platform for a GBP 1.53 million consideration payable by the issue of 152 719 840 new ordinary shares priced at 1p each.
Intabet management team members Phil Jackson and Adam Fraser-Harris have agreed to join the Media Corp board as non-executive chairman and chief executive officer respectively, leading to the resignation of Justin Drummond as Chairman and Sara Vincent as interim chief executive officer.
In a flurry of press statements, a loan agreement of GBP 750 000, secured from Barclays Bank to provide working capital for the enlarged group, was announced along with Media Corp's lack-lustre half yearly results for the period ending March 31, 2012. Performance indicators included:
– Revenues of GBP 16.7 million (2011: GBP 13.3 million) an increase of 26 percent
– Gross profit of GBP 1.9 million (2011: GBP 2.6 million) a decrease of 27 percent
– Loss before tax of GBP 1.3 million (2011: Loss GBP 437 000)
– Cash balances of GBP 0.52 million (March 2011: GBP 1.5. million)
Outgoing Chairman of Media Corp, Justin Drummond said: "This has been a very difficult period for the Group, though I believe with the acquisition of Intabet Limited together with further financing, announced today, the Group can now look forward. I am stepping down today, following the announcement of the Intabet acquisition and I am confident that in Phil Jackson and Adam Fraser Harris, who are being appointed as Chairman and Interim CEO respectively, the Group is in being left in experienced and capable hands. I remain a major shareholder in Media Corp and believe that with the acquisition, new direction and senior management team the Group has an exciting and, I hope, a prosperous future ahead."
Intabet, two years in development – at a cost of GBP 1.2 million, is touted as a unique online betting platform differing from competitors in its ability to execute bets through multiple bookmakers with one Intabet account.
The new betting platform is preparing to launch for the 2012/13 football season, subject to gaming licence approvals and final integrations. Initially launching with a focus on football, the platform will launch betting options in all sportsbetting disciplines over time.
Touching on the Purple Lounge issue, the advisory said "with the restructuring of Purple Lounge now underway, the directors believe the acquisition of Intabet will allow the Company to re-establish a newly branded online casino and poker room to run alongside the new betting platform that Intabet provides."
Indications point towards Media Corp's online joint venture with The Hippodrome terrestrial casino being jeopardised following the Purple Lounge debacle, however, the company remains hopeful that the deal will proceed.
Phil Jackson, newly appointed chairman of Media Corp added: "I am delighted to join the Board of Media Corp at this transitional, yet exciting, time for the Company. The acquisition of Intabet represents a huge opportunity to be involved with a betting platform that we believe could revolutionise the online betting market. The tie up with Media Corp and the access it provides to both the Purple Lounge user base and the online advertising and marketing expertise it has through Eyeconomy should give Intabet the best chance of success, on its launch later this year. I would also like to thank Justin Drummond and Sara Vincent for their many years' service to Media Corp and wish them well in their future endeavours. I look forward to providing further updates as and when appropriate."