Shed Media confirms bid discussions

David Hellier
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TELEVISION production company Shed Media yesterday confirmed it was in talks to sell itself to Warner Bros Entertainment, a unit of Hollywood media group and Sex in the City maker Time Warner.

Shed Media’s shares closed the day up around 7 per cent at 83.6p.

Time Warner plans to acquire Shed Media, the maker of shows such as Supernanny and Footballers' Wives, for about £75m.

However, analysts hinted that a bid price in excess of 100p or £90m might be necessary for the purchaser to win an agreement.

There was no certainty of an offer, Shed Media said in a statement.

Last year, the company had received an indicative offer approach from a consortium formed by funds managed by Bowmark Capital and Darwin Private Equity, which was working with certain members of Shed’s management.

Shed Media on 8 June said it had ended offer talks with the two private-equity funds, but continued to be in an offer period following a proposal from a potential suitor.

On 7 April, the company posted a 24 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profit, helped by lower finance costs, and said 2010 had begun well.

Shed Media shares have gained about 12 per cent in the past six months.

The group was formed by Eileen Gallagher, a Scottish TV stalwart, who led the company to an AIM market flotation. It is currently chaired by Heather Rabatts.



Shed Media is being advised on this deal by Altium Capital, an investment boutique that caters for the small to mid-cap market.

Altium, whose managing director is Phil Adams, was for years the principal adviser to Entertainment Rights. Recently it has been advising Cinven in its bid for Spice and The Hut in its pre-IPO phase.

Altium’s media expertise has been enhanced by the experience in the sector of analyst Roddy Davidson.

“We’ve always done quite a bit in the media sector,” says Adams.

The team on the Shed Media account is led by Ben Thorne, who joined Altium six years ago from Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DKW).

He spent 15 years with DKW where he developed extensive client relationships as both financial adviser and corporate broker to many UK small and mid cap growth companies. Thorne is joined by Sam Fuller and Melanie Szalkiewicz. Fuller joined Altium as a graduate in early 2000 and has worked on a large number of both public and private transactions.

Hudson Sandler’s Nick Lyon and Wendy Baker are Shed’s financial public relations advisers.

Time Warner is being advised in London by a team from Morgan Stanley.