TV-am gives up hunt for a new business

TV-AM, the breakfast television company, yesterday admitted defeat in its search for a new business to replace its lost broadcasting franchise. Instead it announced a bumper dividend of three-quarters of its reserves.

Although the statement fell short of total surrender, TV-am's senior managers privately acknowledge there is no future for the company. Some are expected to announce career moves within the next few days.

TV-am, which will stop broadcasting at the end of the month, said it would consider winding itself up in February in order to distribute the rest of its assets to shareholders.

The decision marks the final chapter for one of the most colourful companies of the 1980s.

Launched by a coterie of TV stars including David Frost and Angela Rippon, it was saved from collapse by the puppet Roland Rat, and then mourned by a 'mystified and heartbroken' Margaret Thatcher when it lost its licence.

It is withdrawing from the the Unlisted Securities Market on 4 January because the rules say that quoted companies must have a core business. It hopes its shares will still be informally traded on a 'matched bargain' basis.

Shareholders are to be paid a second interim dividend of 40p a share, costing TV-am pounds 26.7m. That compares to total distributable reserves of pounds 36.7m at the end of last year. It expects to offset pounds 8.9m of associated advance corporation tax against current and past tax bills.

It is now reduced to a 50 per cent share in Virgin Radio, a joint venture with Richard Branson, 17 per cent of Metro Radio in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the freehold of its headquarters in Camden, north London.

Bruce Gyngell, chairman and managing director, said: 'Over the past year the board has considered a large number of other business opportunities, but has been unable to identify one which would represent a satisfactory core business.'

No final decision would be taken until February at the earliest. 'Assuming that no further investment opportunities have arisen, the board expects to recommend a liquidation or distribution of the company's assets.'

Guy Lamming, media analyst with James Capel, commented: 'It was what the City had been expecting. The management are doing the responsible thing.'

TV-am is writing to shareholders advising them to consider their tax positions: those not wanting the dividend should sell in the market before 14 December.

David Keighley, controller of public affairs, denied it was the end of the line for TV-am. 'We are still exploring options,' he said.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower