UBC Media, which supplies multimedia content to the BBC and 250 commercial radio stations, has struck a cash and share deal that will see it become the largest shareholder in audio-sharing company AudioBoo.
The company, which took an 8% shareholding in AudioBoo for about £45,000 in 2010, has upped its stake to 40.3%.
UBC Media has bought Imagination Technology’s 33.95% stake in AudioBoo in a share deal worth £271,000 that will give Imagination a 7.6% shareholding in UBC.
However, Imagination is keen to hold a larger stake in UBC and as part of the deal has bought £141,000 worth of shares, at a mix of 2p and 2.75p, to take its total stake in UBC Media to 9.8%.
The deal means AudioBoo, which raised £200,000 in new investor money on Friday, is worth about £1m.
Simon Cole, chief executive of UBC, said that the deal underlined the company’s move away from radio and TV production into technology.
The company, which on Monday reported a loss of £3.6m for the year to 31 March, said this was driven by a £3m non-cash goodwill write-down on the value of its production businesses to £1m.
“We have faith in our existing production companies but are not looking to make any acquisitions in this area, which many people expected us to,” says Cole. “We’re now more likely to invest in technology, and now have £3.5m in cash.”
UBC Media also announced that it has been selected to handle the global licensing and roll out of the RadioPlayer, the UK internet radio service backed by the BBC and the commercial radio industry, in partnership with Imagination.
Cole said that UBC already has letters of intent for deals to launch the RadioPlayer in eight countries – four will be subject to licensing arrangements and the other four will see a bespoke internet player built.
UBC Media also announced a deal to produce 15 hours of live TV content from the Cambridge Folk Festival for Sky Arts, as well as two hours of output for BBC Radio 2.