Robert Freeman's whole Media, Business and Technology thing. Sorted.

Macquarie’s next natural step is to buy Technicolor

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Macquarie is a fascinating group of companies which seem to have the good old-fashioned principle of vertical integration at its heart, and watching the company’s buying strategy is like a good game of Monopoly.

With their recent purchase of National Grid Wireless (formerly the BBC’s transmitter network) they’ve bought Mayfair. They already had Park Lane (Arqiva) and with both of those blue cards they can start adding houses and hotels!

So it’s worth looking at the different bits of Macquarie and how important they’ve become to the media industry.

Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group is majority owner of Arqiva (formerly the ITV transmitter network) and Broadcast Australia. Both run broadcasting transmission facilities.

Arqiva also has production capability, cameras, studios etc, partly due to its purchase of Inmedia in 2005. Arqiva bought part of BT’s satellite business in November 2006.

Macquarie Capital Alliance Group is majority owner of Red Bee Media (formerly BBC Broadcast) which runs TV channel playout on behalf of the BBC and various broadcasters.

With Red Bee and Inmedia already in their hand, Macquarie could add a third playout facility or transmitter infrastructure company and complete the set. They’ve two to choose:

VT Communications (formerly the BBC World Service international transmitter network)

Technicolor Network Services (who run playout for ITV, and others)

Technicolor would be bursting with the same money-saving integration opportunities as NGW/Arqiva, but would mean that Macquarie would then own all the infrastructure and all the playout for the UK’s major broadcasters, potentially a real monopoly which would be frowned on.

The Times reports that Macquarie is considering purchasing the UK’s emergency radio network, Airwave (more masts and transmitters) from Telefonica.

*Update 19Apr, this is now confirmed.

There also Macquarie Media Group, which has recently bought American Consolidated Media, its first print acquisition.

And that’s just the broadcasting assets, other pies the group has fingers in include energy trading and car parks and it is also London’s water supplier.


Written by Robert

14 April, 2007 at 11:03 am

Posted in Business, Convergence

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