Pearson pays $513m for `Baywatch' group
Thursday 02 October 1997
Pearson reached agreement with All American, which owns and distributes drama series and game shows such as Blind Date and The Price is Right, early yesterday morning after all-night negotiations.
Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson, said: "We have pursued All American for a while because it fits perfectly with our strategy of owning formats which are transportable around the world."
Pearson has in the past bought programmes such as Neighbours to export internationally. Greg Dyke, chief executive of Pearson TV, said the company first started talking to All American in 1995, the year Pearson TV became an international producer through its acquisition of Grundy.
He poured cold water on City analysts' worries that UK companies had come to grief in the US television market in the past, saying Pearson had to enter the US in order to be a world player. The ITV company TVS got into difficulties in 1988 when it paid $320m for MTM Entertainment, but sold out five years later for $94m.
Toni Scotti, the founder of All American who owns around $200m worth of shares, is to leave the company, along with roughly a dozen senior managers.
Derek Terrington, media analyst at Teather & Greenwood, was one of the more optimistic observers. "This is in line with the market places they've said they want to have a strong presence in." He said it now appeared that Mr Dyke, who was rumoured to have been on the point of quitting in recent months, was in for the long haul. "This must delight Greg Dyke as he's now got a big international business to run."
Another analyst said that although All American's programming was undoubtedly down-market, there was "a big market for tackiness".
Mrs Scardino said the deal had been funded in part by the sale of "passive" television interests. Pearson has raised pounds 134m this year from the sale of minority stakes in TVB, the Hong Kong broadcaster, and in Flextech. Other shareholdings, such as the stake in BSkyB, are being "looked at closely".
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...