Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The return of Mike Danson

(By Richard Holway 4.00pm 21st July 09) I know that many HotViews readers are interested in the fortunes, or otherwise, of Datamonitor, Ovum etal. Therefore the interview with Mike Danson in today’s FT – How to take a chance at the peak of a boom – is worth a read.

Ovum was sold to Datamonitor (where Danson was CEO and main shareholder) in late 2006 at 300p per share or c£43m. Danson, a few months later, sold Datamonitor to Informa at 650p per share or c£500m. Danson probably made £200m from this and previous share sales.

Danson obviously believes that he sold at the very peak of the market. Indeed the FTSE Media Index is down two thirds since. Danson reckons he’d be lucky to get 300p a share for Datamonitor now. Or for all those ex-Ovum shareholders reading this – that’s 138p per Ovum share! Like Ovum shareholders, Danson took the proceeds in cash and, like me, invested it in cash. “I sold late enough in the cycle that I didn’t really get a chance to invest it” he says and I echo…

Even though Danson is not calling the nadir in the market he is ‘on the move’ again. Last month his new company, Progressive Digital Media, reversed into AIM-listed TMN Group. So you can ‘buy Danson’ again if you wish. He says he wants the company to be “a one stop shop for marketing departments looking for both information and tools”. A year or so back he bought CBR from Informa and this forms just a part of the stable of trade magazines, on line websites, conferences and digital marketing services.

Interesting stuff for all in our business.

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