Miller chairs first media sector VCT

Former chairman and chief executive of EMAP Sir Robin Miller is to chair the board of the first venture capital trust to target the broader UK media sector.

The fund, called the IBIS Media VCT, aims to raise just under &£30m. It will be quoted on the London Stock Exchange if a minimum of &£4m is raised. The VCT team has committed &£1m of its own money to the fund.

Other industry figures joining the board include chief executive of United Business Media subsidiary CMP Information Gary Hughes and group finance director of Daily Mail & General Trust Peter Williams.

The VCT is expected to invest in private equity type ventures at the smaller end of the market.

“Although the media sector hasn’t been strong in the past couple of years, this in itself could be an opportunity,” says IBIS Capital director David Forster, who is an adviser to the VCT.

“Concerns about disruptive technology like the internet have put pressure on mature media businesses. But we aim to invest at the smaller end, where there is less competition, a lack of investment capital and correspondingly better valuations,” he adds.

The UK advertising market was worth about &£14.4bn in 2004, third in the world behind the US and Japan (Advertising Association). Over 45 media companies are traded on the London Stock Exchange and over 100 on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

⢠Former BSkyB chief executive Tony Ball is to chair a private equity investment vehicle targeting UK media companies, run by Ingenious Media. Former Goldman Sachs investment analyst Neil Blackley will be joining the Ingenious Media Active Capital (IMAC) board as a non-executive director.

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