Pearl & Dean boss quits after SMG takes control

Pearl & Dean managing director Peter Howard-Williams has left the company after it was bought by Scottish Media Group (SMG) for £22.2m this week.

Pearl & Dean managing director Peter Howard-Williams has left the company after it was bought by Scottish Media Group (SMG) for &£22.2m this week.

Howard-Williams, a well-known figure who has worked in the cinema industry for 24 years, has been replaced by SMG’s newspapers commercial director Christine Costello.

SMG chief executive Andrew Flanagan says: “Pearl & Dean is one of the most valuable brands in cinema advertising and presents SMG with a significant opportunity in an attractive sector.”

Pearl & Dean sells advertising in 840 screens in 250 cinemas in the UK. It has a 25 per cent share of sales in the industry, with the market leader Carlton Screen Advertising taking the rest.

The company was purchased from private investors who own 53.5 per cent of the business, and French cinema advertising company Media-vision which owns the remaining shares.

Howard-Williams, who is believed to be on a short holiday, began his career in the cinema industry in 1975 as a sales executive with Rank. He left the company in 1993 as managing director when it was bought by investment bank Schroders. He had been Pearl & Dean managing director for six years.

Roger Hatchuel, who was the company’s executive chairman, stays on as non-executive chairman.

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