Tag Archives: Engine Group

Engine’s never ending search to reward shareholders

The lengths to which The Engine Group has gone in an attempt to provide a cash payout for some of its loyal shareholders underline just how difficult it can be to do so if the management team wishes to retain ownership control while hankering after the scale of reward that could be obtained from a trade sale.

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So how will HIG’s capital investment in Engine be spent?

The retirement of Robin Wight from The Engine Group, as first revealed in Marketing Services Financial Intelligence last week, marks the closing stages of a long and colourful career.  Ernest yet irreverent, witty but never witless, Wight has been a prominent member of the creative scene for longer than I care to remember and he will continue to be available to Engine in a “presidential” capacity.

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Engine Group’s 2008 accounts understated its loss by £2m

Much improved results for 2009 have been marred by the news that the Engine Group’s previous year’s accounts understated the loss for that period by over £2 million.

Since last year the group has replaced its auditors BDO Stoy Hayward by KPMG and Peter Harris has been appointed finance director in place of Ian Day.

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Engine keeps us guessing

The Engine Group’s financial guessing game continued last week with the release of a few snippets from what the company said were its audited accounts for 2009.  We were told that Engine earned a profit before all sorts of important items – like finance costs for example – of £13 million compared with £11.8 million in 2008.  We were also told that revenues were £59 million.  So if the reported profit of £13 million bears any resemblance to what is normally defined as operating profit, the group has achieved an impressive operating profit margin on revenue of 22%.

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Tory Party treasurer Michael Spencer departs from Engine board

In a surprising administrative lapse The Engine Group chose last Friday 13th to belatedly report the resignation of Conservative Party treasurer Michael Spencer from the company’s board with effect from 1 May.  Such changes are required to be notified to Companies House within 14 days of their occurrence.

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Engine’s biggest backers get more involved in its affairs

The biggest financial backers behind The Engine Group seem to be wanting to take more of a direct interest in its affairs as they are progressively taking up more seats on the group board. 

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Peter Harris replaces Ian Day as Engine’s finance director

In a surprise move Ian Day has been replaced as finance director of The Engine Group by newcomer Peter Harris.

Harris, a chartered accountant who trained with PricewaterhouseCoopers, joined Engine in March this year.  Previously he was a director of the highly profitable TV entertainment and artiste representation company 19 Entertainment which he joined at about the time it was sold to the US public company CKX in 2005.  

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Bank of Ireland took extra security as Engine bought Creator Visions last month

The Bank of Ireland has taken a charge over The Engine Group’s interest in a £750,000 key man insurance policy taken out on the life of chief executive Peter Scott.  The extra security was finalised on 26 April and coincided with the purchase of Creator Vision on the same day (see What have Peter Scott and Simon Clark got in common? ).

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What have Peter Scott and Simon Clark got in common?

While The Engine Group’s chief executive Peter Scott was hitting the headlines yesterday by acquiring the social media agency Jam from the administrators of the sadly defunct i-level (doubtless at a very lowly price – see i-level pays a painful price for taking on £32m debt to fund founder sell-out), a much quieter transaction had just been completed behind the scenes.

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Engine Group may have paid about £4m to acquire Penrose Financial

Preliminary calculations suggest that The Engine Group has probably paid about £4 million as an initial consideration to acquire 100% of the public relations consultancy Penrose Financial, announced last week.   It would be surprising if more than half of that initial price was paid in cash, so the immediate outlay is unlikely to have exceeded £2 million.

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