Geldof brings his company to the City

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The Independent Online

Sir Bob Geldof continued his evolution from Boomtown Rats singer to City businessman by bringing his production company to the London Stock Exchange yesterday.

The architect of Live Aid has proved his credentials by selling Planet24, the television company responsible for The Big Breakfast, to Carlton Communications two years ago for £15m. This year, he sold, an internet travel agency, for about £10m.

But this is the first time that Sir Bob's businesses will be subject to City investors unaccustomed to his style. "I'm a non-executive director, but I won't be getting up in front of City Geezers," he said. "This is about selling the idea of a company to people with enough money to make it realizable."

Sir Bob announced that Ten Alps, which makes programmes for the BBC, would acquire Osprey Communications, an advertising group listed on the Stock Exchange. He will own about 11 per cent of the new company. With Osprey shares falling 0.25p to 1.5p yesterday, the rocker's stake was worth about £1m.

The fall reflectedCity anxiety about the new management's lack of experience. Brian Walden, the former Labour MP, will be non-executive chairman. Alex Connock, a business partner in 10 Alps, will serve as chief executive.