People and Business: Not for floating

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The Independent Online
ANY CORPORATE finance bods who might have run their slide rules over Ragdoll Productions, the private TV production company run by the Business Woman of the Year, Anne Wood, can forget it. Though she has won worldwide success with Teletubbies and a number of other children's programmes, Ms Wood insists the company she founded 14 years ago is not a candidate for flotation.

Speaking in the Art Deco splendour of Claridges Hotel in London yesterday, Ms Wood said: "I don't really want to feel responsibility to shareholders - only responsibility to children."

In fact, Veuve Clicquot are lucky to have Ms Wood as a winner at all. She says: "I must have been the most reluctant entrepreneur ever. I tried very hard not to form my own company."

It was only when she was sacked as head of children's television on TVam that she realised she would only be able to make the programmes she wanted if she set up on her own.

Ms Wood still owns 35 per cent of Ragdoll, which made pre-tax profits of pounds 9 million last year on sales of pounds 20m. Her husband Barrie owns 25 per cent and family trusts own a similar amount, with the balance held by a charity. It looks like it'll stay that way.