Hotel pay TV firms merge

TWO hotel pay television firms based in Tunbridge Wells have merged in a £1.5 million deal.

Techlive has bought On Command Europe (OCE) in a deal funded by international business bank Fortis. The bank is providing term loan, foreign exchange and current account banking facilities.

Both companies are significant operators in the installation and distribution of films, video games, and Internet access into hotel groups across the UK and Continental Europe.

Before the purchase, Techlive owned 30 per cent of OCE, with 70 per cent owned by US-listed On Command Corporation (OCC). OCC sold its stake following a decision to concentrate on its core US market.

But OCE has become a licensed distributor of OCC systems in Europe. OCC provides interactive in-room entertainment, information and business services to the hotel industry.

Peter Wright, Fortis' regional head of acquisition finance, and Lisa Jessup, assistant director in Kent and Sussex, arranged the deal.

Ms Jessup said: "We were delighted to deliver a funding package which will enable this strong management team to pursue its long term plans to grow the business across Europe."

John Vernon, Techlive managing director, said, "The outlook for our business has never been brighter as today's hotel guests demand an ever more sophisticated choice and range of in-room entertainment facilities."

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