News blog

Venue Solutions

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 15/05/2008 |

Some shareholders are losing patience with Venue Solutions.

They have requisitioned an EGM where they want to remove three directors from the screens and software installer and ask the management to provide answers to questions about the running of the company.

The rebel shareholders want to know why the company’s performance has deteriorated over the past 12 months and why the board decided on a dilutive share issue. They also want access to the company’s records and staff.

The plan is to remove chief executive Dominic Berger, Stephen Thomson and Mark Boughton and appoint Nicholas Bryan-Brown and Mark Wilsher to the board. They are both part of the management of Synapse Capital which is handling the EGM requisition.

A third member of Synapse’s team is Stephen Copeland, who apparently has a business studies degree from Kingston School of Excellence, which I assume is Kingston University. As someone who has a degree in business studies from Kingston Polytechnic, which later became Kingston University, I can’t understand why these people and organisations feel the need to come up with silly, inflated titles for what is effectively still Kingston Polytechnic to me – but that’s enough of that rant.

The management of Venue Solutions says that it is addressing the problems and says that it has more relevant experience to run the business.

Bryan Brown is a former investment banker and investor in small companies, including 50 Lessons, an education and media business. Wilsher has been an investor in a number of technology start-ups, including Autonomy and Kvault, as well as Durlacher when it was involved in technology start-ups at the turn of the century. Both Wilsher and Copeland were involved in Nasdaq-quoted e-learning company Futuremedia – albeit a number of years ago. Copeland currently runs Black Lion Investments, which distributes software and equipment to schools. Another of Copeland’s business interests is IPAR, which offers fundraising and strategic advice as well as interim management services – one client is Futuremedia.

Synapse says that it has key management and sales personnel ready to join Venue Solutions if it succeeds in taking control of the board. It also mentions “strategic moves to strengthen VSH’s (the company’s) core businesses.

Synapse is certainly efficient because it already has a separate section on its website relating to Venue Solutions –

Venue Solutions has undoubtedly been a disappointment so there is no surprise that some shareholders are unhappy. The poor performance of Your Day, which provides personalised DVDs for theme park visits, and the amount of management time spent on this business.

The most recent trading statement claimed positive news about Your Day at Alton Towers but this is a very small part of the business.

Venue Solutions’ figures for the year to November 2007 are due to be published on 30 May 2008. This is effectively the last day they can be released without the shares being suspended.

Venue Solutions shares edged up 0.375p to 4.625p.

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