In 2005, David Hulbert (CEO) and Tim Richards (COO) were leading members of the management team which concluded a complex set of negotiations to purchase and fund the non-US assets of Crown Media, backed by a Private Equity consortium.
The team re-launched the Hallmark Channel around the world with a new look and feel, and a clearly defined market position and programming offer. We also launched Movies 24 and Diva, and set up the KidsCo joint venture, now distributed in over 40 territories in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Sparrowhawk further concluded a series of new, advantageous distribution deals in a number of territories, culminating in long-term arrangements to maintain profitable 100% distribution in the UK (with BSkyB and Virgin Media).
Finally, less than 2½ years after acquiring the business, the Sparrowhawk management team concluded a set of successful negotiations – during the credit down-turn – to sell Sparrowhawk to NBC Universal for approximately $370 million, a price which delivered over 30% IRR to investors.
Eastern Europe-based Branded TV Channel
Since late 2010, Ravensbeck has partnered with a local media entrepreneur to launch a franchised 24 hour rolling news channel in a developing region of Eastern Europe. The Ravensbeck team has taken a leading role in business planning and negotiations with the global brand owner and with local investors. We are now finalising plans for launch in 2012, with Ravensbeck acting as overall project manager.
Buyout of Full-Service Non-Linear TV Operating Division
Ravensbeck is currently negotiating the Private Equity backed buy-in of an attractive fast-growing division of a quoted media technology company. Ravensbeck partners have had business relationships with the target management team for many years, and working with this team, we are structuring a deal which optimises value for the seller, while minimising the cash required to grow this business to global market leadership over the next 5 years.
Acquisition, Build and Sale of Global Leader Premium TV Channel
While at The Walt Disney Company, Simon Kenny, David Hulbert and Tim Richards led the project to buy equity stakes in HBO in Latin America and Central Europe. We structured and led negotiations, including a complex series of deals covering product supply, technical collaboration and channel distribution. Following the transactions, Simon and Tim were leading active members of the Boards of HBO Ole (Latin America) and HBO Central Europe, respectively.
By virtue of these deals, Disney’s transformed its position in the relevant pay TV markets, generating substantial licensing revenue and operating profits. Having achieved our strategic objectives, we sold these businesses back to the original owner at a very substantial profit.