LONDON: ISMM, the holding company that owns sports marketing giant ISL, is to acquire pan-European licensing agency Copyright Promotions (CPL). ISSM, which currently holds a 25% stake in CPL, has offered US$2.12 a share for the remaining 75% of the company-an offer that
hadn’t yet been formally accepted at press time.
CPL is one of the largest licensing groups in Europe, with nine offices. Its portfolio of properties includes Sony Signatures’ Godzilla, Nelvana’s Rupert, Sega Europe’s Sonic the Hedgehog and The Hargreaves Association’s Mr. Men. Recently, however, CPL has been building up substantial interests in the sports licensing market-a key factor in ISMM’s decision to trigger the takeover.
According to a CPL spokesman, the new ownership will not adversely affect the com-
pany’s focus on kids entertainment properties. ‘With ISMM behind us, we now have the opportunity to expand our activities into Japan and the Americas.’ In addition, he says the ISL link means there will be more scope to target sports-related promotions at kids product lines such as breakfast cereals. ‘ISL has the marketing rights to the Japan World Cup in 2002 and we are well-positioned to get involved in a significant way.’
ISMM is a privately owned company, which means the takeover will de-list CPL from the stock market. There are no plans for ISMM to change the CPL management. CEO David Cardwell and founder Richard Culley are expected to maintain day-to-day control of the company. On ISMM’s side, the deal was driven through by ISL chief Heinz Schurtenberger.