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DCD strikes debt deal as boss steps down

UK independent production and distribution group DCD is looking for a new boss following the departure of CEO Chris Hunt. Hunt, who was a board member and company chief executive said he was leaving to “return to full time creative programme-making.” Hunt had been at the helm of DCD since its inception in 1999.

DCD said that David Green, the founder of DCD-owned September Films, will become acting CEO until a full time replacement is found. Non-executive director Michael Barton has also stepped down.

The company also notified shareholders that it has reworked a debt finance agreement. Specifically, it has extended the repayment period for £9.9 million (£14.9 million) worth of debt until December 2009. DCD’s single largest shareholder, Gartmore, has taken on £2.6 million of that debt.

In a stock exchange announcement DCD said that following the deal “the Note Holders have agreed not to pursue certain matters which had been raised with the Board, save in limited circumstances.”

A spokesman said this point related to issues that Gartmore had raised with the DCD board relating the timing and completeness of certain, unspecified, company announcements. These matters were subsequently resolved the spokesman said.

David Elstein, chairman on the DCD Media board, told shareholders: “The Company now has a more robust financial footing and the employees and management are excited about the future prospects of the business which is flourishing in both production and distribution activities.”

The company is listed on the London stock exchange and its share price was up in the immediate hours after the personnel and debt financing announcement. It was due to publish full-year results on November 18, but has now delayed the publication until December 1. An extraordinary general meeting will take place in late December.