London-based Chorion’s chairman Lord Waheed Alli and deputy chairman William Astor have resigned from the company effective immediately, amid speculation in the UK financial press that they have been unable to restructure the brand management firm to alleviate its debt burden.
A spokesperson for Chorion confirmed the departure of Alli and Astor, but would not comment on the financial situation of the company. According to London’s Financial Times, which broke the story, Chorion houses a debt of roughly US$113 million (70 million GBP) that stems from its 2006 US$180 million (111 million GBP) buyout by venture capital firm 3i.
However, with the growing success of The Octonauts TV series and related consumer products sales in the UK, and a significant global deal with Nickelodeon on the reinvention of Peter Rabbit in the offing for 2012, Chorion has had some momentum behind its business of late. Its last published financial results for the year ending March 2010, saw Chorion’s EBITDA rise by 11% to US$24 million (14.9 million GBP) on revenues of US$84 million (51.7 million GBP).
It’s unclear whether Chorion will be sold or subjected to an auction at this time. The spokesperson would not comment on the company’s next move.