CSS Stellar Acquires Majority Stake In Target
UK-based entertainment and sports marketing company CSS Stellar has acquired a majority shareholding in Target Distribution from founder shareholder Tiger Aspect Productions (MR. BEAN). In June 2002, Target had agreed to a merger with the Just Group, with Just Group proposing a 54% stake in the company to be purchased with funds raised by shareholders. This deal fell through in late summer, although Target continued to pursue a financial and strategic partner. CSS Stellar, which also owns PFD, one of the UK's largest talent agencies representing directors, writers and actors, now controls Target with a 58% share of the company. Target currently controls the television distribution rights for almost 1,000 hours of popular drama, animation, childrens and light entertainment programming as well as several program formats including POPSTARS, FOOTBALLERS WIVES, and the quiz show THE CHAIR hosted by John McEnroe. Target is also about to launch a dedicated licensing division at Londons Brand Licensing Fair focused on exploiting the brand potential of its key entertainment format and animated properties. While no longer a shareholder, Tiger Aspect is expected to continue to work with Target in the company's representation of its light entertainment formats and will also endeavor to maintain a strong distribution relationship with Target. However, Tiger Aspect managing director Andrew Zein told C21 MEDIA: "While we will continue to invest in our own programs and manage our rights we do not feel it is appropriate to be taking risks on funding other people's programs through our ownership of a third party distributor in this environment."