The Investment Column: Patent problems at Pace
Tuesday 13 January 1998
Malcolm Miller, the newly installed chief executive, must have expected more. But rather than proclaim the brave new dawn of digital television he first had to clear up the mess his predecessors had left. It seems the previous management decided not to set aside any cash for royalty payments on intellectual property used in digital satellite decoders. Now the owners of said patents are asking for their money, and the company has had to put away pounds 5m to cover the liability. Even though the final settlement should be a lower figure, this does not bode well.
Other nasties included a pounds 4m write-off after CanalPlus, the French media group, took over one of Pace's customers in continental Europe and rendered Pace's stock worthless. There will be more to come in the second half once the group decides how many jobs and offices it has to cut to reduce costs.
A final worry is Pace's balance sheet. The group claims to have over pounds 10m in the bank, but this was largely achieved by calling in debtors and not paying creditors - the pounds 581,000 interest charge for the half suggests the group is still carrying some borrowings.
With all the bad news now hopefully out of the way, Pace may eventually stage a recovery when it gets the benefit of the BSkyB set-top box order next year. Long term, however, it's still possible that larger competitors will obliterate Pace altogether. Still one to avoid.
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...