Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie teams up with son Ashley and Invesco to shake-up Rightster board

Madeline Ratcliffe
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Kelvin MacKenzie and his son Ashley are both stakeholders in Rightster (Source: Getty)

Ashley MacKenzie has joined forces with his father, former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, Neil Woodford's investment management group and Invesco to oust the board of online video distributor Rightster.

Chief executive Patrick Walker will step down and take-on a non-executive role, and non-exec chairman Mark Lieberman and directors Michael Broughton and David Mathewson will also leave.

Replacing them will be a new management team Rightster said is "supported by the major shareholders", which proposes Ashley MacKenzie as new chief executive, with former HMV chiarman Robin Miller as non-executive chairman, minority stakeholder, and Base79 founder, Richard Mansell as chief operating officer, and Mark Cranmer would be non-executive director.

The investors took action after the company’s share price “collapsed” from 50p to around 9p, a source close to the matter said.

Rightster specialises in the distribution of online video and operates one of the largest multi-channel networks on YouTube, with a client list that includes The Press Association, The Guardian and Conde Nast.

The company announced a strategic review earlier this month after reporting a widened pretax loss for the first half of 2015, saying it was considering all options to secure additional investment in the final quarter of 2015, and to make sure it has enough working capital to move towards cashflow breakeven.

Walker said: "I am proud of what the team has achieved over the last nine months since joining the board. We have accomplished a successful restructuring and significant cost savings and I believe the business is in good shape to be taken forward by the proposed new management team.”

Ashley MacKenzie was previously chief executive officer of Base79 Ltd, which Rightster bought in July last year.

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