Ashcroft Shuffles Pack: Loss Making PoliticsHome Sold for £0.00
++ Merges With Loss Making Political Publisher Dods’ ePolitix ++

Dods plc, publishers of ePolitix.com and the House Magazine, announced this morning that it had acquired the business and assets of PoliticsHome.com, the political news aggregation website now run by Paul Waugh. The sellers were Political Investments Limited and Politics Home Limited, companies which Ashcroft controls. The price paid was zilch.

PoliticsHome has annual revenues of approximately £100,000 a year and lost £500,000 last year.  Rolled up losses on the balance sheet amount to some £700,000. Waugh’s former home, The Evening Standard, reports that the deal could be worth £2 million. In theory true, but in reality that is if, and only if, certain optimistic synergistic revenue goals are met. It should be remembered that loss making Dods plc is itself also 23% owned by Ashcroft. This is basically an all-paper transaction with Ashcroft shuffling loss making assets around. No money is actually changing hands…

ConservativeHome is not in this deal, its losses are subsidised directly by Ashcroft through Political Investments Limited.  Over on the left-hand side of the blogosphere the unions now fund LabourList, LeftFootForward and PoliticalScrapbook directly, which is why they read like press releases from the TUC. Keen analysts of the online political sphere will note that there is now only one politics-only website pure play that makes money as a commercial proposition. Profits which make us proudly independent…

UPDATE: A bean-counting co-conspirator points out that from a “tax management” point of view it is pretty savvy. The rolled up losses of the acquisition can be offset to reduce the tax on overall business. Now you know why he is billionaire…




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