Luke Johnson has been appointed non-executive chairman of Brainspark.
The man who built up Pizza Express and other catering businesses, such as Patisserie Valerie, has a big job on his hands at Brainspark, which has a diverse set of investments.
Johnson is showing his confidence in the company by subscribing £1m for a 13.9% stake. This is part of a placing raising £2.8m at 4p a share. The cash will be used to complete the acquisition of a controlling stake in Ora Hotels Group and Ondaland Aquapark owner Sipiem.
There was net cash of £13,000 and available for sale current assets of £13.4m at the end of June 2012. There are £3.06m of unconverted bonds since the conversion of £800,000 worth, plus interest, at 7p a share.
Alfredo Villa moves from executive chairman to chief executive. Former Media Corporation finance director Nilesh Jagatia has taken up the same role at Brainspark. Jagatia will hopefully be able to make the finance function more efficient. The large number of investee companies makes the group complicated. The portfolio of investments is likely to be rationalised.
Brainspark has just reported its 2011 full year figures and its interim figures to June 2012. NAV was £21.2m at the end of June 2012. Brainspark is still trying to sell the land owned by Mediapolis. A non-binding offer has been received.
The shares had been suspended since 27 June but it returned from suspension at 3.30pm when the figures were published. The share price rose 0.12p to 4.88p, valuing the company at £8.83m. However, this was before the appointment of Luke Johnson and the placing.
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