Wild: Why I must sell stake in CastlePublished: 8th Jul 2006, 22:30:13 | Permalink | Printable
He reveals past, present and future of RISC OS under CastleCastle's Peter Wild has put his electronics company's shareholding in Castle up for sale. Peter said he had "run out of patience and enthusiasm" for working in the RISC OS arena, and now wants out. He said: "I have had a disagreement with Jack [Lillingston] and John [Ballance] on the future plans for Castle."
Consultancy business Pattotek, headed by Peter Wild, owns a 30 percent voting share in Castle, and is looking for investors within the RISC OS community to take over the stake in the RISC OS 5 developer. RISCOS Ltd shareholders were first contacted on Thursday morning with the news that the Castle stake was up for grabs.
Pattotek owns 75 voting shares out of a possible 250, and it's understood a quid was paid for each of them. Castle CEO Jack Lilligston and CTO John Ballance each hold 50.
Pattotek also loaned nearly £30,000 to Castle between 2003 and 2004, with the aim of making Castle an ideal asset for a larger technology firm to snap up.
Peter said: "Pattotek Ltd invested in Castle some three years ago, along with others. The investment was predicated on the acquisition of RISC OS from Pace Micro and the merger of Castle and Tematic Ltd to create a single business which we could grow, both in the traditional desktop market and in the embedded space, particularly IPTV, by leveraging our IPR assets.
"The aim, as with any business, was to generate profits and value for shareholders, with the ultimate long term goal of creating a business that would be an attractive acquisition target for larger competitors - giving the investors an exit route."
According to Peter, Tematic designed three set top box designs, one of which was deployed in volume - generating a healthy revenue, and it continues to draw in royalties. However, it's claimed the company needed significant investment running into seven figures and changes to the company structure in order to successfully attract new business. These internal changes are where Peter, Jack and John have not seen eye to eye. Tematic also lost its engineering staff in October 2005.
The dispute with RISCOS Ltd in 2004 was also brought about during efforts to prepare Castle for outside investment. Peter is said to be disillusioned with the way in which the row over the RISC OS rights collapsed.
He added: "On a positive note, Castle does have a plan for RISC OS which I believe would offer big benefits to RISC OS users and resurgence in the popularity of the OS, with possible new commercial opportunities.
"If control of Pattotek's interest in Castle were to go to someone who could influence the coming together of ROL and Castle's efforts in a more proactive setting then better things could yet come from this."
Castle were unavailable for comment. To register an interest in the Castle shareholding, email castleinvest [at] pattotek [dot] com. Peter said he was still a director of Castle.
He said: "There are a number of factors involved in the transfer of control [of the stake in Castle] to a third party and various options for doing this. Full disclosure and discussion would require an NDA.
"The decision to move away from Castle was only taken by Pattotek in the last few weeks; the decision to announce the opportunity publicly just last week."
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