West 175 Media Group Inc
26 March 2001
For Immediate Release 26 March 2001 7.30am
WEST 175 MEDIA GROUP INC: £3.5M EUROPEAN ACQUISITION
Purchases Assets of Food Events Company with Established Sponsors from SPA
Cointreau Family Member joins Company; Entry into Continental Europe
West 175 Media Group Inc ('West 175'), the international multimedia company,
announces the acquisition of the food award and events rights and assets of
Strategic Planning Associates, S.L. ('SPA'), a diversified food communications
and events company run by Edouard Cointreau, a member of the Cointreau and
Remy Martin family, for a maximum consideration of US$5m (£3.46m).
SPA, based in Madrid, was established in 1993 as a worldwide bibliography of
cook books, with sponsorship from Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School. Its rights
and assets include: The World Cook Book Fair, an annual international trade
book fair held in France since 1998; The World Cook Book Fair Awards; the
International Cook Book Revue, which reviews cook books. The World Cook Book
Fair and Awards are supported annually by international food and wine sponsors
and governmental agencies.
The revenues from the assets acquired from SPA will be derived from: (i)
arranging world cook book and media fairs ('Events'); (ii) arranging food and
wine awards; (iii) televised programmes; (iv) book sales; and (v) licensing.
SPA has long experience in international events, merchandising, publishing and
sponsorship, sectors in which West 175 has well established operations.
Historically, a significant proportion of West 175's revenue is derived from
advertising agents and sponsors.
SPA has staged The World Cook Book Fairs annually since 1998 generating
US$230,000 in cumulative net profit from events alone, without the benefit of
television coverage and ancillary income.
The purchase price of US$5m is payable as to US$1.5m in cash (US$1m on
completion, US$0.5m in deferred payments, payable on or before 41/2 months
after completion) and US$1.5m to be satisfied by the issue of 422,696 new
shares in West 175 on completion and 211,348 new shares deferred subject to
the achievement of agreed revenue targets. A US$2m credit against sponsorship
will be procured by SPA for West 175 Productions' PBS television programming.
West 175 will contract SPA for the services of Edouard Cointreau for five
years to roll out the events internationally and his track record in securing
sponsorship is a significant factor in his on-going participation. He will be
Global Food Co-ordinator for West 175 and be directly responsible for securing
sponsorship and advertising for the cook book fairs and awards and development
of new projects.
Commenting, John McEwen (Chairman & CEO, West 175 Media Group Inc.):
'The purchase of assets and rights of SPA and the establishment of this strong
alliance with a member of the Cointreau family gives West 175 Media Group Inc.
significant access to major global advertisers with whom the Cointreau family
have had long term relationships. It also gives West 175 a significant
presence in continental Europe for the first time and other new geographical
Commenting, Edouard Cointreau:
'I have chosen to join the West 175 Media Group team because they have a
successful track record in TV food programming and publishing internationally.
By adding the television skills of West 175 Media to our annual events we
are creating a global audience for our sponsors. Until now, the coverage has
been limited to the events themselves.'
Benefits of the acquisition
In television, programmes will be developed for the Events and awards
presentations, in the US, Canada, Continental Europe, the UK, Australia and
New Zealand, where West 175 has a strong presence through its production of
over 900 episodes of successful cookery programmes. These include MasterChef,
Great Foods, Cucina Amore, Graham Kerr, Gary Rhodes, and Rick Stein for its
broadcasting networks in New Zealand, and on PBS, the BBC, ITV and other TV
West 175 produces MasterChef in the US and in the UK through Union 175, a
joint venture with Union Pictures, to develop, produce and distribute TV
programmes in the UK and for sale worldwide. It also has a joint venture with
the BBC for programmes produced by the BBC under the jointly-owned brand Great
The cook books, wine books and events will continue to be produced and held in
France and then worldwide, with five televised award events targeted annually
for 2001, 11 in 2002 and 15 in 2003 and beyond. New countries for West 175
and SPA, include Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Greece, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latin
America, China, the Arab nations and Eastern Europe.
The event management activities will be undertaken by West Media Events,
based in the UK. Events will be the backbone of the TV programmes, with
income derived from sales to sponsors, exhibition stands, catalogue
advertising sales and grants from public institutions. The key event is the
World Cook Book Fair Awards .
Typically, sponsorship is derived from public institutions paying the majority
of costs for events, private sponsors and sales (gate, stands, advertising)
paying the remainder. Merchandising will embrace book sales and licensing.
Edouard Cointreau is the publisher of cook books and magazines such as
ICR-International Cook Book Revue. He is also the International Coordinator
of 'Tasting Australia' in Adelaide, and a member of IACP (International
Association of Culinary Professionals). Born in the Cointreau and Remy Martin
family, his brothers are well known in the food sector: Andre is President of
Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School; Anne runs Morgenhof Winery (Stellenbosch) and
safari lodges in South Africa; Jean Pierre is in charge of Cassis Vedrenne,
liqueur Verveine du Velay and Cognac Chateau Paulet; Beatrice is President of
Champagne Gosset and General Manager of Cognac Frapin and Chateau de
For further information, please contact:
West 175 Media Group Inc. Binns & Co
John McEwen, Chairman and CEO Peter Binns / Paul McManus
Tel: 020 7763 5729 Tel: 020 7786 9600
About West 175
West 175 Media Group Inc. is a worldwide media company specialising in all
aspects of broadcasting, programme production, merchandising, publishing and
staging live events.
The Group is structured so that each operating sector is self-supporting but
inter-related, offering cross-selling and promotional opportunities.
* Digital Mobile
* Central Park Interactive
* Internet service provider
TV Broadcast & Distribution
* NZ TV stations
* US PBS
* UK Networks
* International Sales
* Community television and radio broadcasting
* Joint venture broadcasting
* Advertising and sponsorship for television programmes
* Channel 9
* Mercury TV
* Canterbury on Air
* Union 175
* Ninox 175
* West 175 Productions
* Lifestyle programme maker
* Large cookery television library
* Live television production, news, current affairs, documentaries,
* Great Food
* The Chefs of Cucina Amore
* Graham Kerr's Kitchen
Great Food is an anthology featuring world chefs. Cucina Amore is America's
first choice in how to cook Italian. Graham Kerr shows how to 'minimize fat
and maximize flavor'. MasterChef features amateur cooks designing dishes for a
panel to sample and judge.
* West Media Events Ltd
* Consumer shows
* Event sponsorship
Merchandising & Publishing
* Programme spin-offs