Small Talk: Galleon gets animated and ships in big hitters

NETeller on winner; MED develops well; Zenith to clean up; Changes on cards?; Taking AIM

Galleon, the little animation company trying to come up with a kids' TV hit, has hired two big guns from Chorion to run the company and develop new shows.

Galleon, the little animation company trying to come up with a kids' TV hit, has hired two big guns from Chorion to run the company and develop new shows.

Stephen Green and Len Dunne were, until recently, brand directors at the company behind the revival of Noddy and Miss Marple. They set up on their own with the idea of creating a sports-themed children's cartoon series, and have been bought out by Galleon in a deal worth £1.5m.

Mr Green is to become chief executive of Galleon, with Mr Dunne as managing director. The pair, both in their late thirties, have worked together for years, initially at Hasbro, the ubiquitous toy company.

Jim Driscoll, Galleon's chairman, said the new cartoon ideas were being kept hush-hush for now, but trailers could be ready to take to broadcasting festivals by March. Galleon has already developed cartoon characters called the Oggies, who are into extreme sports, and Malcolm (subtitle: "he's a bit of a cult") for the adult market).

Shares in Galleon continue to trade below the level of its 15p rescue fundraising last November, while results today show widening operating losses and yet more write-offs from earlier acquisitions. However, Mr Driscoll says the arrival of Messrs Green and Dunne - after the acquisition of a Hollywood animation studio last year - takes Galleon into an exciting new era with the expertise to invent, produce and market new entertainment brands.

NETeller on winner

Don't think the rise in the share price of NETeller is over. The company operates an e-wallet which funnels money from online gamblers to betting and casino sites. The company takes over the risky and expensive business of verifying users' identities and checking for credit card fraud - so the gambling sites are happy to accept cash from NETeller accounts, and pay a percentage fee to do so.

The stock has soared from its 200p placing price to 338.5p on Friday, in large part thanks to getting the Financial Services Authority stamp of approval to operate in the UK and expand in Europe. Its next step is into Asia, where it must sign a tie-up with a local bank, probably initially in China. Because the cost of the business is so low, it can simply sit back and cream off cash from an ever-increasing number of customers, and is forecast to double earnings this year, even without an Asian deal.

MED develops well

Progress as planned at MicroEmissive Displays, an Edinburgh-based company which floated in November. It has developed a tiny screen for use in consumer gadgets, made from plastics which glow, giving a high-quality picture but using very low power.

Bill Campbell, the chief executive, is just back from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas - the annual industry jamboree where new products are showcased to wholesalers and the product buyers from retail giants - where NHJ, the Far Eastern luxury consumer electronics manufacturer, was showing a miniature camera using MED's technology. As a result of feedback from the show, the first launch looks likely to be in Europe or the US within the next few months.

Zenith to clean up

There's nothing like the threat of a health and safety inspection to ensure that the nation's restaurant kitchens stay clean. Zenith Hygiene is a chemicals company making and supplying industrial-strength cleaning products to the likes of the celebrity hang-out The Ivy and chains including Pizza Express and Café Rouge. Other big customers include the NHS and Cambridge University, and fund managers investing in its forthcoming AIM flotation are hoping to clean up. It is selling £4m of new shares, valuing the company at about £16m and giving the opportunity to buy up some of its rivals.

Changes on cards?

What might the recent acquisition of the cards and gifts chain Birthdays by Clinton Cards mean for Thorntons, the chocolate retailer? The reason Small Talk asks is that there are 55 Thorntons concessions inside Birthdays stores across the country, and rumours swirling in the industry suggest that the new owners are considering whether to phase them out. The Birthdays concessions account for about one in 10 of Thorntons' outlets.

The loss-making Birthdays agreed a takeover by its bigger rival for £145m last November. On the question of the Thorntons concessions, Clinton Cards says it has only owned the Birthdays business for six weeks and so does not want to comment. Thorntons says there are robust commercial agreements supporting the concessions and relations with Clinton Cards are good.

Clinton Cards issues a trading statement this week. Thorntons follows with a Christmas trading update a week tomorrow.

Taking AIM

The great attraction of the junior AIM market is the low-regulation approach it takes to mergers and acquisitions, and a new survey shows that M&A activity is likely to hot up. According to Business XL magazine and KPMG, almost 10 per cent of AIM companies have publicly stated their intention to make acquisitions.

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam