Mastertronic grabs Dutch partner

The Mastertronic Group has sold a stake in the business to Dutch entertainment firm Hermans – in a move that has given the company financial security and the opportunity to grow in 2009.

The deal follows on from a joint venture between the two parties in 2005 which saw the formation of kids’ console specialist Blast! Entertainment.

“The whole team have worked their socks off to make this deal happen, in what have been extraordinarily challenging circumstances,” said Masterstronic MD Andy Payne.

“But we have crossed the line now and we are able to move on in a positive fashion. This really is great news for the team and we are working with people we have worked with for three years, so I really feel we have got to know them – and that counts for a lot in this game.”

The deal sees Payne and business development director Garry Williams retain equity and remain in the business, as well as enabling the existing management team to remain intact. And with offices in Holland, Germany and Denmark, Mastertronic will now be able to offer field sales outside of the UK.

However, there will be some structural and operating changes – and that will see some staff departures, not least the long serving Paul Hyslop, who left the company at the end of November.

“Sadly, we have made one member of staff redundant last week – Paul Hyslop, who has been a valued and loyal member of the team. In addition, one of our producers, Chris Gardiner, left to relocate to Switzerland, and three further members of staff will leave at the end of December.

“These chaps will be missed, but we needed to address our operating costs in the face of challenging trading conditions.

“These are challenging times for every business. Indeed, these are the most challenging times I have known for 20 years. But this is not a problem exclusive to Mastertronic.

“Although we are reducing our operating costs, we will retain a headcount of 45 and remain committed to our publishing, sales and distribution activities and our wide range of customers and suppliers. The future is now.”

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