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Media group buys 20 per cent stake in SIS.

Byline: HOWARD WRIGHT

CATALYST Media Group has received the go-ahead to complete a pounds 23 million deal to buy a 20 per cent stake in SIS, the bettingshop pictures and information provider, from United Business Media.

Shareholders' meetings agreed a series of resolutions that have enabled Catalyst to acquire Alternatesport, the subsidiary set up by media giant UBM to handle its holding when SIS was founded in 1986.

The deal, which will officially go through tomorrow, is a life-saver for loss-making Catalyst, whose shares are expected to be reinstated to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) after suspension.

Chief executive and co-founder Paul Duffen warned Catalyst shareholders a month ago, when the agreement with UBM directors was first made public, that without it the company would either go under or start insolvency procedures. Duffen will join the SIS board at its next meeting, while Catalyst non-executive director Michael Rosenburg is to become chairman, in place of David Holdgate, who resigned yesterday, and Anna Godsell is appointed finance director.

Holdgate, who is to remain on the Catalyst board as a non-executive director, provides a strong link between the two companies, since he is chief executive of SIS.

SIS chairman Howard Perlin said: "We welcome Catalyst to the company, and look forward to their participation at board meetings."

Catalyst's arrival among major SIS shareholders, alongside Ladbrokes (23 per cent), Caledonia Investments, which bought the 22 per cent stake previously held by Thales for pounds 18m in May, and William Hill (20 per cent), replaces one media company with another.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 1, 2005
Words:256
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