Jim forced to think twice

I hear change may be in the air at i-mate, the company run by the brilliant Scottish entrepreneur Jim Morrison.

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By  Ben Dawson Published  April 23, 2006

|~||~||~|I hear change may be in the air at i-mate, the company run by the brilliant Scottish entrepreneur Jim Morrison. Jim has done a fine job of making i-mate the most talked about PDA on the market, and has sold a good few along the way. Two years ago he listed the company on the London Stock Exchange, and things initially looked pretty good with the share price hitting 325p last January. But last November, the news was less good. “The Directors continue to expect to report significant year on year increases in revenue and profit for the year to March 2006, however, the cumulative effect of the factors detailed above is expected to result in sales and profits for the year to March 2006 being lower than market expectations.” These factors included a number of shipment delays. Two weeks ago, Morrison told the stock exchange that the latest figures were “in line with market expectations” – i.e., not very good. “I won’t answer any questions about the London Stock Exchange," he added. I can see why: rumour has it that Jim is thinking of removing I-mate from the London Stock Exchange and putting it on the DIFX later this year. “I’m still thinking about it but I still need some more money,” he told me. Watch this space for more news. LIVE WIRE Congratulations to Emirates Airline, which as we reveal elsewhere in this issue, has signed a US$197 million sponsorship deal with FIFA. This will see Emirates getting exclusive rights to broadcast the 2010 and 2014 World Cup matches on free-to-air television in the UAE. A great deal – and I hear even better news is on the way. Emirates is working on the technology to be able to show live soccer games on its flights during the 2010 World Cup. I am told things are going better than planned, and that by the end of this year, it may have the facilities to bring live events direct to its aircraft television screens. TOP OF THE BILL I hope the owners of Dubai Eye have a lot of spare cash. Last week, bosses at the radio station joined former English soccer stars Paul Gascoigne and Chris Waddle for a “night out in Dubai.” The two players – both multi-millionaires – decided to treat the radio executives as part of a thank you for organising their trip to Dubai to take part in the Master Soccer Tournament. My spies tell me that several hotels and around US$2000 later, both Gascoigne and Waddle disappeared, leaving Dubai Eye bosses to settle the bill. I am told that they were "less than impressed" to say the least. WAITING TIME Yesterday, the UAE’s second telecoms operator du listed its shares on the Dubai Financial Market. Shares in the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company were oversubscribed 167 times as around 225,000 investors applied for shares. Pretty good going – as is the news that du will offer customers who switch its service the same mobile phone numbers as they had with Etisalat. When exactly this will happen is another matter. I’ve had a barrage of letters this week from my pals in the industry, who now predict du will not go live until next year at the earliest. MUSICAL CHAIRS Meanwhile, I hear that more big changes are underway at Etisalat. Last week Mohammed Omran was moved upstairs to the position of chairman. Watch out in the next three weeks for a couple of big announcements, one of which will take everyone (including the person involved) by surprise. ||**||

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