DDHE goes broke - Simply Media steps in

By Rich Cross   Last updated on 07 February 2021, 13:24:28

DD Home Entertainment DVD label goes unexpectedly bust, but new owners Simply Media step in


Disc one in the DD DVE release of Survivors series one

 SURVIVORS DVD LABEL DDHE (DD Home Entertainment) went out of business in August 2007, forced into receivership by financial problems which overwhelmed its parent company. In September, the company was purchased by the Simply Media Group and began trading again as Simply Home Entertainment.

The company responsible for releasing all three series of Survivors on DVD — DD Home Entertainment (formerly DD Video) — unexpectedly ceased trading in August 2007. After several weeks of uncertainty during which the company's operations were put on hold, DDHE was bought by the Simply Media Group and began trading again at Simply Home Entertainment.

DDHE had become an unwitting victim of financial problems which have overwhelmed its parent company Medal Entertainment and Media plc (MEM). In October 2006, MEM acquired the DVD and CD company Britannia Music and Film in a move to significant expand its base in the home entertainment sector. However, in the months that followed, MEM discovered that the costs of the expansion bid were far higher than expected — which began to put strain on the company's financial reserves.

 Unwitting victim

Despite the company's efforts to ride out the pain of the transition, MEM found that the firm's bankers felt that the company had over-reached itself — and was becoming increasingly insolvent. At 15:30 on 24 July 2007, the MEM Board of Directors announced that it had suspended trading in the company on the London Stock Exchange. In a statement, the Board declared its disappointment that no "further debt or equity funding or other strategic alternatives" were open to it, and announced the appointment of administrators to take over responsibility for the firm and its assets.

The main characters of the first series of Survivors - Jenny, Abby and Greg

As soon as the announcement was made, all of MEM's subsidiary companies — including DDHE — immediately stopped trading, pending the administrators' appointment. DDHE's managers decided to temporarily close the company's web site. Anyone contracted to work on DDHE DVD releases in recent years (including Survivors' cast and crew members involved in the releases' 'special features') received official letters informing them of the company's demise. For both employees and customers of DDHE, the news came as a complete shock — there had been no public inkling that the future of the firm was in jeopardy.

Two days later, on 26 July 2007, Christine Mary Laverty and Myles Antony Halley of the firm KPMG were appointed Joint Administrators of DDHE and MEM. With the agreement of the Administrators, DDHE's site was re-opened, with a message about the status of the company clearly displayed on the home page. However, DDHE's telephone sales line reported that the service could only accept outstanding payments for goods already dispatched, and not process new orders.

As in normal in such instances, KPMG attempted to find a buyer who might be able to take over the operations of both companies. Advertisements announcing the sale of an 'Audio Visual Publisher' "with 19,000 active purchasers... 300 title rights in military, aviation and transport fields...[and] significant stocks holdings of DVDs" appeared in The Financial Times and elsewhere. KPMG required interested parties to submit an offer by 6 August, and — by an incredibly tight deadline — "complete a purchase by 9 August 2007."

 Search for a buyer

On 10 August 2007, a spokesman for KPMG confirmed that "one or more expressions of interest" in buying DDHE had been received by the first deadline, but that there was a great deal of negotiation still to be completed before any purchase of DDHE could be successfully concluded: effectively the final deadline was being extended.

In September 2007, negotiations were successfully completed with the Simply Media Group, and the company resumed operations as "Simply Home Entertainment - the new home of DDHE". It was initially unclear whether SHE would restrict its operations to the wholesale and retail sides of the business, or whether it would release DVD titles under its own imprint. Subsequently, in early October, SHE Programming Executive Jo Ware confirmed that the the company would "continue to operate in a similar way to DDHE with a number of releases under our own label."

The main characters of the third series of Survivors - Charles, Hubert and Jenny


Cite this web page
19 May 2024202131 January

 Cross, R. (2021). 'DDHE goes broke - Simply Media steps in,' [online] Survivors: A World Away, 31 January. Available at: https://survivors-mad-dog.org.uk/a-world-away/DDHE_Aug2007.php. Accessed on: 19 May 2024.

 
   

Current style: Harvard

 

 TAGS


 DVD 

 

Search
 Survivors 8:3 The Lost Boys

Episode image for Survivors 8:3 The Lost Boys

 Peter Grant has found a way to survive under the tutelage of Robert Malcolm, but survival has come at terrible personal cost

 Survivors 4:2 For the Good of the Cause

Episode image for Survivors 4:2 For the Good of the Cause

 Have the residents of the Belief Foundation found a way to survive and thrive in harmony with the Earth?

 The Fourth Horseman location find

Jenny Richards encounters Tom Price on a rural hillside in Survivors episode The Fourth Horseman

 A long sought-after location from Survivors first ever episode has finally been tracked down

Find out more

 Site sections

Terry Nation's Survivors

 Survivors is a 38-episode, three series British post-apocalyptic TV series, created by Terry Nation, and first shown on BBC 1 between 1975 and 1977

 Two Survivors novel were published in the UK, USA and Italy in the seventies: Terry Nation's part-novelisation of the first TV series Survivors was published in 1976; with John Eyers' original follow-up Genesis of a Hero appearing the following year

 A 12-episode, two series remake of Survivors was broadcast on BBC One between 2008 and 2010

 A 36-episode, nine series run of new and original Survivors audio adventures, set in the time and place of the original programme, were released by Big Finish between 2014 and 2019

 Terry Nation's Survivors novel was released as an audiobook, voiced by Carolyn Seymour, in 2014

 Genesis of a Hero was reprinted and republished as a paperback and as a Kindle title in 2015

 A sequel to Genesis of a Hero, entitled Survivors: Salvation, was published in February 2021

 A six-episode original audio drama, Survivors: New Dawn, set two decades on from The Death was released in two three story box sets by Big Finish in November 2021 and February 2022

 Hampton Court
Hampton Court

SEVERAL MEMORABLE SERIES ONE Survivors' filming locations inside Hampton Court are now accessible to visitors to the Herefordshire stately home and its grounds, as part of a series of welcome enhancements to the popular Herefordshire tourist attraction.

 Morris Perry: An actor's life
Morris Perry: An actor's life

THE RESPECTED CHARACTER actor Morris Perry, who died on 19 September 2021 at the age of 96, enjoyed a long and diverse career on television and on the stage.

 Big Finish announce two new Survivors audio boxsets
Big Finish announce two new Survivors audio boxsets

BIG FINISH HAVE announced the release of two new boxsets of original full-cast Survivors audio adventures - starring Carolyn Seymour and Lucy Fleming - to be called New Dawn.

 Hampton Court features in Antiques Road Trip
Hampton Court features in Antiques Road Trip

HAMPTON COURT IN Herefordshire, a key filming location in the first series of Survivors, features in a new episode of the long-running BBC auction show Antiques Road Trip.