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Wild: Why I must sell stake in Castle

Published: 8th Jul 2006, 22:30:13 | Permalink | Printable

He reveals past, present and future of RISC OS under Castle

Castle and Tematic logoCastle'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."


Pattotek website
Castle website What is IPTV?

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A minority stake in a non-publically traded company is not that useful. Unless you can influence over 51% of the shares, its rather acamdemc whether you control 1% or 49% and the shares would not be that easy to resell.

Still, it might well interest an 'angel' investor or a VC...

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 9/7/06 4:14PM
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Given that, it is of some importance who owns the remaining 75 voting shares. If you could obtain all 75 from Mr Wild, and form an alliance with one or more of these other shareholders with an extra 51 votes (or obtain their shares), you'd have control.

 is a RISC OS UserLoris on 10/7/06 2:10PM
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Given that the article sites a difference of opinions with JB and JL as a main factor in the decision and that they setup Castle, it would be a reasonable assumption that they still have a controlling stake.

Its a shame as all three are clearly talented people.

I am sure if you wanted to buy Castle desperately enough for a huge sum, then they would consider selling it to you ;-)

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 10/7/06 9:58PM
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In reply to markee174:

I'm just going by what is in the article: There are a 'possible' 250 voting shares (A controlling stake would therefore presumably be 250/2+1=126 voting shares), Peter Wild (or his company Pattotek) have 75, and "Castle CEO Jack Lilligston and CTO John Ballance each hold 50."

250-75-2*50=75 shares unaccounted for. of these, you'd need 126-75=51 to have control.

Perhaps the voting system is set up in some other way than majority rule, in which case these calculations are in error. You may, for example, need a 2/3 majority in order to actually pass anything. I don't know.

 is a RISC OS UserLoris on 11/7/06 12:15PM
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