IBIS targets media funding gap

IBIS Capital, a UK media investor, has launched a £30m fund aimed at small British media companies. The fund is structured as two £15m VCTs, enabling investments to be made of up to £2m per company. The firm believes many UK media businesses are finding it difficult to attract the funding necessary for further growth, and it hopes to address this imbalance.

The firm has assembled an impressive team of media and finance luminaries, including the former chairman and CEO of EMAP, Sir Robin Miller, Peter English, the founder of Foresight Venture Partners, David Forster, the ex co-head of the UK equity media research team at Salomon Smith Barney, and ex-Apax man Charles McIntyre, currently in charge of European media investment banking at Altium Capital. The team, which in total is made up of nine people, is, along with close family, investing over £1m in IBIS.

Chairman Sir Robin Miller said: “Although there is plenty of private equity money available for middle size to large UK media companies there is still a shortage at the smaller end; a gap which we hope to help fill. There currently seems to be a widespread belief that media will be an underperforming industry due to the impact of disruptive technologies, such as the Internet. However, many areas of media are relatively unaffected while in other areas there are great opportunities for young companies with bright entrepreneurial managements to benefit from the fragmentation of traditional media. These are the sort of companies that we will seek to back.”