Investors swooped in to save troubled online television service SeeSaw in a deal estimated to be worth around $16 million. A private equity firm in the U.S. that also acquired Bebo from AOL led the consortium of investors.
The group that came together behind Criterion Capital Partners to take a controlling stake in London-based SeeSaw was littered with names in film, television, and new media. The former chief executive of the U.K.’s Channel 4, Michael Jackson, is one of the investors in both this venture and Bebo. He has also been appointed by the group to be chairman of the business' board. SeeSaw is owned by Arqiva, which will retain a 25 percent stake in the business as well as representation on the newly assembled board.
Arqiva launched SeeSaw in February of 2010 after acquiring assets from a video-on-demand joint venture among BBC Worldwide, ITV, and Channel 4. The site is home to more than 3,000 hours of programming and attracts around 900,000 unique visitors monthly, a vast majority of whom reside in the U.K. Though Criterion is now in business with both Bebo and SeeSaw, investors say the two entities will continue to run separately, though an opportunity for collaboration may exist in the future.